Sharjah Art Foundation

Sharjah Biennial 15: Thinking Historically in the Present

SB15 is now closed. Thank you for your support. Updates on the Biennial can be read here.


How can materials and forms associated with racial oppression be subverted to oppose their original meaning? Can art help us reimagine difficult pasts in ways that allows us to heal in the present? To find out, listen this episode where Mary Sibande is in conversation with SB15 curator Hoor Al Qasimi. At Sharjah, Sibande installed a work called A Reverse Retrogress: Scene 1 (2013). Featuring a domestic worker standing before a purple sculpture, the work references the 1989 Purple Rain anti-apartheid protest in Cape Town. It is on view at Al Hamriyah Studios, Sharjah till 11 June 2023. Click here to view it online. Press play to learn more about Sibande’s practice, process and SB15 project as well as what makes her work speak to our current time and place. To receive updates about the 15th Sharjah Biennial and the Sharjah Art Foundation’s year-round programme, follow us on Instagram @sharjahart.

Click here to listen.

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Ep 2: Mary Sibande - Self and Solidarity

A Reverse Retrogress: Scene 1 (2013)

Mary Sibande engages counter- historical narratives and the language of dress to animate the stories of South African women and critique western imperialist depictions of their lives.