Sharjah Art Foundation has released six major new publications this year, including monographs on significant modern and contemporary artists from the MENASA region, Sharjah Biennial publications and critical new texts on pressing topics in contemporary art. Working in collaboration with other researchers and publishers from around the world, the Foundation has produced more than 45 artist books, exhibition catalogues, monographs and critical theory texts since its establishment. The ever-expanding publishing practice reflects the Foundation’s commitment to producing original texts and providing a platform for important artists and cultural practitioners from the region and around the world.
Among the 2020 releases are two publications tracing the careers of pioneering regional artists, one on Hassan Sharif and the other on Abdul Hay Mosallam Zarara; two highly anticipated volumes related to the Foundation’s core initiatives Sharjah Biennial and March Meeting; Art in the Age of Anxiety, a critical new book that delves into the impact of internet culture on art and society; and the second edition of the Foundation’s comic book project Corniche.
All Foundation publications are available in the three Sharjah Art Shops, located in Al Mureijah Square, The Flying Saucer and Arts Square. Selected publications are also available at Jashanmal, Kinokuniya Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Magrudy’s, Booktopia, Jamalon, Jameel Arts Centre and Tashkeel. Certain publications can be ordered online through their designated co-publishers.
Details about the publications follow below:
Hassan Sharif: I Am The Single Work Artist
Publishers: Sharjah Art Foundation and Koenig Books, London | Publication date: March 2020 | Available in US via D.A.P. (Distributed Art Publishers, Inc.) on 18 August 2020 | 320 pages | 45 USD
Recognised as a driving force in the transformation of the regional art community, Hassan Sharif was a pioneer of conceptual art and experimental practice in the Middle East. This special publication highlights his contributions to the development of local and regional artistic production.
Edited by Hoor Al Qasimi, the publication is not a typical exhibition catalogue or chronology, but rather an experimental work that reflects Sharif’s multidimensional practice and weaves a personal narrative from the various threads of his career. Presenting critical new research into Sharif’s practice, this wide-ranging volume includes images of lost works, original English translations from Sharif’s journalistic and experimental writings, and archival materials from ephemeral exhibitions as well as original dialogues and reflections by Sharif’s acclaimed contemporaries in the UAE.
The release of the monograph coincides with the European tour of I Am The Single Work Artist, which travelled to the KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, in early 2020 and is currently on view at Malmö Konsthall in Malmö, Sweden.
The publication is available at the Sharjah Art Shops in Al Mureijah Art Spaces, Al Mureijah Square; Arts Square; and The Flying Saucer. It can also be purchased on Amazon and Jamalon.com and in a number of UAE art and cultural spaces and bookstores, including Jameel Arts Centre, Booktopia, Jashanmal, Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde, Kinokuniya and Tashkeel.
Art in the Age of Anxiety
Publishers: Sharjah Art Foundation and Mörel Books, London | Publication date: October 2020 | Distributed by MIT Press | Distribution date: January 2021 (available for pre-order) | 400 pages | 34.95 USD
Art in the Age of Anxiety is an extensive new publication that brings together thought leaders in the field of image and internet culture to consider how consciousness has been deeply affected by the proliferation of everyday technological devices and platforms. Authored collectively during a period of lockdown, the book documents how we look at art in an age of crisis.
Art in the Age of Anxiety features a thought-provoking scholarly contribution by the editor of the publication, Omar Kholeif, who is Director of Collections and Senior Curator, Sharjah Art Foundation. His text is presented alongside essays by Anonymous, Saira Ansari, Douglas Coupland, Heather Dewey-Hagborg, Aruba Khalid, Norman M. Klein, WJT Mitchell and Todd Reisz, with a foreword by Hoor Al Qasimi, President and Director of Sharjah Art Foundation. Published on the occasion of the historic exhibition Art in the Age of Anxiety, the book has been conceived as an exhibition and artistic experiment in its own right, weaving together photographic documentation of the show and explorations into the internet by many of the artists in the exhibition. Art in the Age of Anxiety was on view at Sharjah Art Foundation from 26 June to 26 September 2020.
The publication can be purchased online through the MIT Press website here.
Abdul Hay Mosallam Zarara
Publisher: Sharjah Art Foundation | Publication date: August 2020 | 311 pages | 45 USD
This comprehensive monograph looks at the seminal work of Palestinian artist Abdul Hay Mosallam Zarara (1933–2020), who used his art to decry the violent suppression of his homeland and promote international solidarity worldwide.
Edited by acclaimed artist Ala Younis with a foreword by Hoor Al Qasimi, the 300+ page book presents extensive colour images of Zarara’s work and archives, including personal memoirs translated into English, annotated material selected from past portfolios, press clippings reflecting on his notable career with quotes from the artist, an index of selected artworks, a bibliography and the artist’s exhibition history. The book is published by Sharjah Art Foundation as part of the SAF Monograph series, which offers in-depth insight into the lives and works of significant artists, particularly those from the MENASA region.
March Meeting 2019: Beyond the Echo Chamber
Publisher: Sharjah Art Foundation | Publication date: August 2020 | 93 pages | 8 USD
Expanding on the work of Sharjah Art Foundation’s annual March Meeting—a three-day gathering of artists, curators and arts practitioners who discuss critical issues in contemporary art—this publication is a compilation of individual responses from March Meeting 2019 participants Federica Bueti, Golnaz Esmaili, Tala Gharagozlou, Özgün Eylül İşcen and Mahshid Rafiei. Providing important readings of both Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber and the corollary 2019 edition of March Meeting, the contributors expand on the various themes and discussions through approaches ranging from the academic to the experimental.
March Meeting 2019 was curated by Sharjah Biennial 14 (SB14) curators Zoe Butt, Omar Kholeif and Claire Tancons.
Sharjah Biennial 14 Catalogue: Look for Me All Around You
Publishers: Sharjah Art Foundation and Prestel Publishing | Publication date: October 2020 | 506 pages | 27.70 USD
This publication is one of three catalogues for Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber, curated by Zoe Butt, Omar Kholeif and Claire Tancons.
Edited by Claire Tancons and Diego del Valle Ríos, Editor-in-Chief of Terremoto, this publication accompanies the platform Look for Me All Around You, part of Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber. This book charts a non-chronological time-space (dis-) continuum between the Americas and the Emirates, building unexpected trans-oceanic and multi-diasporic bridges for a global history. This volume provides interpretative, discursive, poetic, political and theoretical tools to compare and contrast modes of migration, production, extraction and exploitation through a series of 30 newly commissioned context-specific works and critical texts. Look for Me All Around You also operates as an artists’ book of readings on performance.
Publisher: Sharjah Art Foundation | Publication date: December 2020 | 150 pages | 15 USD
A collaborative project bringing together UAE-based artists and illustrators, Corniche 2 is the second edition of a comic anthology that pays homage to the Sharjah Corniche, located next to the Foundation. This publication is a unique entry into the minds of 23 artists living in the UAE and the first publication of its kind to be produced in the UAE. It features a collection of comic stories in Arabic and English that have been created with a variety of tools, from traditional ink and pencil to new media.
The first edition of Corniche featured the work of 15 artists who worked together during a number of zine-making workshops in the lead-up to the Foundation’s annual art book fair FOCAL POINT in 2019. This second edition includes comics made by over 20 artists meeting on Zoom calls and in virtual workshops during the COVID-19 pandemic.