Taking its title from a work by Farideh Lashai that was itself inspired by Goya’s Disasters of War, this exhibition offers an insight into the radical ideas, visions and perspectives on humanity that inform the work of eight artists represented in the Sharjah Art Foundation Collection.
Curated by Hoor Al Qasimi, Director of Sharjah Art Foundation, When I Count There Are Only You… presents the work of Farhad Moshiri, Farideh Lashai, Iman Issa, Mandy El Sayegh, Nari Ward, Prajakta Potnis, Rabih Mroue and Rasheed Araeen. The works on view include recent acquisitions that have not been previously shown at the Foundation as well as works selected from past exhibitions or commissioned for Sharjah Biennials or other Foundation programmes.
The exhibition examines the role artists play in society by revealing the most intimate and personal details of their inner thoughts and thus leaving themselves open for public deliberation and interpretation. El Amal (2011–2012), a series of works by artist Farideh Lashai, offering a commentary on the Arab spring, is on view alongside her other works, But When I Look, There is Only a Shadow and When I Count There are Only You... (2012–2013). Commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation, Kitchen Debate (2014), by artist Prajakta Potnis brings together staged scenes of political diplomacy and the kitchen of the future. While Potnis’ work studies the relation between domestic and public spaces, also on view is Rasheed Araeen’s I Love it, It Loves I (1979–1983) that studies the complex relation between ideas around geography, history, identity, performance and aesthetics.
Nari Ward’s We the People (2018) spells out in multi-coloured shoelaces these words from the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States. Also on view are a selection of other works in the Collection, including Mandy El Sayegh’s Boundary Work (2017), commissioned for Sharjah Biennial 13; Farhad Moshiri’s Golden Love Super Deluxe (2003) which was shown at Sharjah Biennial 6; various works from Sharjah Biennials 9, 12 and 13 participant Iman Issa’s project Material (2010–2011); while Rabih Mroué who was included in Sharjah Biennial 9 and 13 is represented by his work on paper Notebook 2010 #7 (2018).