Sharjah Art Foundation’s March Meeting is an annual convening of artists, curators and art practitioners from around the world who come together to discuss vital issues in contemporary art during a three-day programme of panels, performances and events. Titled Unravelling the present, the 2020 edition of the March Meeting is part of Sharjah Biennial 15: Thinking Historically in the Present, conceived by the late Okwui Enwezor. According to Enwezor, the Sharjah Biennial can be perceived not only as a module for dealing with the disruptive power of artistic monolingualism, but also as a horizon of the possible for conceiving another theoretical space for thinking historically in the present.
Leading up to the 30th anniversary of the Sharjah Biennial in 2021, March Meeting 2020 (MM 2020) will examine the history of the Biennial and past March Meetings, bringing together former Biennial curators, participants and interlocutors as well as art historians and critics to discuss the role of the Biennial as a catalyst for critical dialogue and transnational exchange. MM 2020 will also explore the evolution of the Biennial in its effort to break away from traditional modes of curating and displaying art and engaging with the public by activating non-institutional spaces and moving to non-geographic models of representation.
MM 2020 is grounded in a belief in art’s potentiality for the production of civic imaginaries in specific and diverse socio-political contexts. Over the three days of the meeting, panels and roundtables will examine the thirty-year history of the Sharjah Biennial as well as diverse issues around the MM 2020 theme. Crucially, MM 2020 will take a critical look at the reception, impact and relevance of the Sharjah Biennial in the regional and global contemporary art scenes. A key question for the participants is how and to what extent Sharjah Biennial’s production, orchestration and dissemination of diverse art forms in exhibitionary and educational contexts have contributed to the realisation of new narratives in and experience of modern and contemporary art within and beyond the region.
The proceedings of MM 2020 will be edited and published for the opening of Sharjah Biennial 15 in 2021.
Open Call for Abstracts for March Meeting 2020 Proceedings
The MM 2020 Open Call invites artists, writers, researchers, curators and art practitioners to submit abstracts (200 words max) for papers informed by MM 2020 proceedings. Applicants should respond to the overall theme of this year’s meeting and consider specific issues that will be addressed in the MM 2020 panels: Sharjah Biennial in Retrospect, Art and the Civic Imagination, The Biennial Nation, Sharjah Biennials in the Regional Context, Biennials and Postcoloniality, and Curating in the Age of Crises. If selected, contributors will be required to attend MM 2020 and submit an original unpublished paper of 4000–5000 words in English or Arabic.
The selected contributors are expected to attend the entire MM 2020 programme of talks and performances. Sharjah Art Foundation will cover round-trip travel and accommodation expenses in Sharjah from 20 to 24 March 2020. A modest per diem will also be provided.