Sharjah Art Foundation is pleased to announce the grant awardees for the seventh cycle of the Production Programme grant. Selected through an international open call every two years, the 10 artists will receive a total of US200,000 as core funding for the realisation of their proposed projects. The 2020 awardees are Jumana Emil Abboud, Mohamed Abdelkarim, Noor Abuarafeh, Basma al-Sharif, Abdessamad El Montassir, Köken Ergun, Moad Musbahi, Pak Khawateen Painting Club, Philip Rizk and Subversive Film.
At the beginning of every cycle, a Production Programme open call invites artists to propose imaginative, ambitious and inspirational projects that will expand our understanding of art and how it can be experienced. Awardees are selected by an international jury, which is composed this year of Iftikhar Dadi, Lara Khaldi and Agustín Pérez Rubio. Originally tasked with selecting two to six proposals from a group of shortlisted applicants from the open call, the Foundation and the jury increased the number of grantees to 10 this past March in response to the economic hardships faced by artists and funding bodies due to the global pandemic.
One of the Foundation’s core initiatives, the Production Programme aims to broaden the possibilities for the production of art in the MENASA region through the support of innovation in artistic practice and the encouragement of risk-taking and experimentation. Past Production Programme grant cycles have made significant contributions to the rise in artistic activity throughout the region and beyond, enabling artists to realise projects of a scale and complexity that would have been challenging to achieve without this support.
Many past Production Programme projects have been presented by organisations around the world, contributing to increased visibility and awareness of the grantees’ practices. Examples include 2010 grantees CAMP’s and Bani Abidi’s projects, which both premiered at dOCUMENTA (13); 2012 grantee Sean Gullette’s film Traitors (2013), which premiered at the 70th Venice International Film Festival; 2012 grantee Lindsay Seers’ film Nowhere Less Now (2012), which was presented in London by Artangel and is now part of the Artangel Collection at Tate; 2014 grantee Jumana Manna’s film A Magical Substance Flows into Me, which premiered as part of her solo exhibition at London’s Chisenhale Gallery (2015); 2016 grantee Khaled Sabsabi’s Bring the Silence, which was included in the 21st Biennale of Sydney; and 2018 grantee Mounira Al Solh’s film Freedom is a habit I am trying to learn (2019), which was avant-premiered at the Van Abbemuseum in Amsterdam in 2019.
Originally launched alongside Sharjah Biennial 9 in 2009, the Production Programme grants are among a growing number of year-round opportunities and programmes, including curatorial residencies and grants for the creation of short films and publishing projects, which are offered by Sharjah Art Foundation to support artists and art practitioners in the production and development of new creative work. The Production Programme grants have been awarded every two years since 2010, following from the first cycle in 2009, for which 28 projects were selected for production and presentation in the Biennial from more than 500 submissions.