The newly renovated Flying Saucer reopens its extraterrestrial doors to audiences on 26 September 2020. Constructed in the mid-1970s, the iconic structure, which is part of Sharjah’s collective cultural memory, has been restored by the Foundation to reflect its original architecture. When it reopens, the venue will host the immersive, site-specific multimedia installation Lindsay Seers and Keith Sargent: Nowhere Less Now3 [flying saucer] (on view until 26 December 2020), which responds to the building’s architecture, as well as a range of learning workshops suitable for children and families and two film screenings.
The Flying Saucer is an example of Brutalist architecture, which draws on the space-age influence of 1960s and 1970s Western literature and popular culture. Along with its distinctive architectural style, visitors will be able to enjoy the landmark’s new features, which include outdoor exhibition spaces, a café, a library, a sunken courtyard and activity spaces for community gatherings.
Lindsay Seers and Keith Sargent: Nowhere Less Now3 [flying saucer] is part of an episodic work titled ‘Nowhere Less Now’, which addresses the dark legacy of British colonialism and Seers’ journey through history in search of (the) truth. ‘Nowhere Less Now’ has been commissioned and produced by Artangel, London; Sharjah Art Foundation; and the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), Hobart, Tasmania.
Audiences can join a number of workshops, film screenings, and events over the coming months. The workshops, designed for children aged 6 to 15 and their parents, focus on photography, image-making, drawing and calligraphy. Part of the Autumn 2020 Learning Programmes, they are open to the public and free to attend; however, pre-registration is required. View the full workshop schedule here.
The Flying Saucer will also host screenings of the popular sci-fi/fantasy films Metropolis (1927) and Hook (1991), which will be projected onto the venue’s designated screening walls in the lower-level Launch Pad. Audiences can comfortably enjoy the films while having a bite to eat at the Fen café overlooking the courtyard and library. More information about the film screenings can be found here.
Visitors to The Flying Saucer can enjoy access to the first public art library in Sharjah. Open for all, its collection includes Foundation publications, artist books and catalogues as well as reference materials that target curious readers, researchers and art and history enthusiasts. Along the library wall are a number of long tables that double up as workspaces where bookworms can read and enjoy the library offerings. Publications are available in Arabic and English. The library will be constantly updated with the latest Foundation publications, monographs and materials.