Sharjah Art Foundation

Sharjah Biennial 15: Thinking Historically in the Present

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80 Miles to Atlantis (2020)

80 Miles to Atlantis (2020)

Imane Djamil

Imane Djamil’s multidisciplinary practice examines the transformation of space by humans. Engaging viewers in photojournalistic projects imbued with the style of docudramas, her works straddle the realistic and phantasmagoric.

A Man without a Country (2023) and other works

A Man without a Country (2023) and other works

Hyesoo Park

Hyesoo Park’s work takes inspiration from the social landscape of everyday life—overheard conversations, daily routines and common problems—offering insight into the psychological issues we face in a fiercely competitive society.

Afterwards (2017–2022)

Afterwards (2017–2022)

Jawad Al Malhi

Jawad Al Malhi’s multidisciplinary practice reflects upon the Palestinian social fabric, illuminating cyclical human movements and daily routines in East Jerusalem.

Anwerlarr angerr (Big yam)
(1996) and other works

Anwerlarr angerr (Big yam) (1996) and other works

Emily Kame Kngwarreye

An Anmatyerre elder and lifelong custodian of women’s ‘dreaming’ sites in her clan country of Alhalkere, Emily Kame Kngwarreye (1910–1996) developed an abstract visual language centred around ancestral spirits and Australian Aboriginal cosmology.

Arcadia (2023)

Arcadia (2023)

John Akomfrah

Through his experimentation with the moving image, John Akomfrah delves into themes of memory, identity, postcolonialism, temporality and the politics of aesthetics.

As British as a Watermelon (2019)

As British as a Watermelon (2019)

mandla

In mandla’s work, identity-based struggles emerge from the artist’s attempts to reconcile different forms of exclusion, both within the artist’s family and adoptive environment.

Autumn of 85 (1987) and other works

Autumn of 85 (1987) and other works

Kimathi Donkor

Kimathi Donkor reimagines mythic, historical and everyday encounters across Africa and its global diasporas, addressing the erasure of Black subjectivity and Black historical figures from western canonical art history.

Ayacucho (2017–2022)

Ayacucho (2017–2022)

Ángela Ponce

Ángela Ponce’s photography grapples with social issues, political conflicts, disability rights and collective memory in the Latin American context.

Balinji (1997) and other works

Balinji (1997) and other works

Queenie McKenzie

Queenie McKenzie (1915–1998) depicted the Aboriginal experience through bold autobiographical canvases that offer insight into life on the remote cattle stations of the East Kimberley region in early twentieth-century Australia.

Bridge of Hesitation (2021–2022)  and other works

Bridge of Hesitation (2021–2022)  and other works

Anju Dodiya

Anju Dodiya’s visual language encompasses references spanning the cross-cultural history of painting, from Indian miniatures to French medieval tapestries, alongside elements of autobiography, allegory and mythology.

Call Me When You Get There (2020) and other works

Call Me When You Get There (2020) and other works

Mame-Diarra Niang

Mame-Diarra Niang’s photographic work abstracts, fragments and decontextualises landscapes and portraits relating to her ancestral roots and Senegalese- Ivorian-French upbringing. Niang’s interrelated photographic series dwell on memory, selfhood and race.

Chillahona (2022) and other works

Chillahona (2022) and other works

Saodat Ismailova

Saodat Ismailova is a filmmaker and artist whose upbringing in post- Soviet Uzbekistan and engagement with the region continue to drive her practice. Ismailova’s filmography addresses themes of national memory, women’s sovereignty, ritualism and mortality.

Chorus (2017) and other works

Chorus (2017) and other works

Reena Saini Kallat

Reena Saini Kallat’s practice examines ongoing civilisational affinities of language, culture, trade and technology that transcend the superficial divisions of nation-state boundaries.

Cosmic Solitude (2017–2019) and other works

Cosmic Solitude (2017–2019) and other works

Yulia Grigoryants

Yulia Grigoryants uses photography to document the harsh reality of displacement, unrest and extreme poverty in conflict zones and border regions, especially as experienced
by ethnic minorities.

Crude Eye (2022)

Crude Eye (2022)

Monira Al Qadiri

Monira Al Qadiri uses myth-making and fantasy to excavate dormant alternative worlds and potential futures.

Cultural Exchange Rate (2019) and other works

Cultural Exchange Rate (2019) and other works

Tania El Khoury

Tania El Khoury is a live performance artist whose works engage the audience in close encounters with narratives drawn from the political realities of migration, displacement and state violence.

Dream Boats (2022)

Dream Boats (2022)

Lubaina Himid

Lubaina Himid’s artistic and curatorial practice illuminates the omissions and hypocrisies of western colonial histories, centring the contributions of marginalised figures, particularly Black individuals, to cultural life in Europe.

Efflorescence (2013–ongoing)

Efflorescence (2013–ongoing)

Iftikhar Dadi and Elizabeth Dadi

Drawing from the visual languages of Pop and conceptual art, Iftikhar Dadi and Elizabeth Dadi’s multidisciplinary work emerges from inquiries into urban vernacular creativity and the role of popular media in shaping notions of borders and identity.

Exile Is a Hard Job (1983–ongoing)

Exile Is a Hard Job (1983–ongoing)

Nil Yalter

Nil Yalter’s works offer a compelling feminist viewpoint on the socioeconomic conditions that affect migratory populations and female labourers.

Forget about guilt (2022) and other works

Forget about guilt (2022) and other works

Saddam Al Jumaily

Saddam Al Jumaily’s surreal compositions operate as metaphors of anxiety, loss and suffering, underscoring the ways in which
the chaos of war in his native Iraq has destabilised time, meaning and belonging.

Fossil Folly (2023)

Fossil Folly (2023)

Mona Hatoum

Mona Hatoum strips themes of conflict, exile, barriers and state control from the purely conceptual realm, presenting them instead in their manifestations as lived experiences.

Garden of Desire (2023)

Garden of Desire (2023)

Bahar Behbahani

Bahar Behbahani’s research-based practice interweaves archival materials, cartography, horticultural history and contemporary context to critique imperial structures of knowledge and power.

Gnawa Capoeira Brothahood (2023)

Gnawa Capoeira Brothahood (2023)

Hassan Hajjaj

Hassan Hajjaj’s visual compositions are a constant evocation of his multicultural upbringing and the relationships he has developed through traversing cultural backgrounds.

HeadHandEye (2017–2018)

HeadHandEye (2017–2018)

Hanni Kamaly

Hanni Kamaly’s multidisciplinary, research-driven practice examines material culture, historiography, collective memory, colonial power structures and the bounds of subjectivity to consider questions of memory and commemoration, embodied narratives, attention and agency.

Heroes (2012–ongoing)

Heroes (2012–ongoing)

Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi

Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi’s multimedia and performance practice investigates power structures and imagines possible alternatives.

Hum II (2023)

Hum II (2023)

Hajra Waheed

Hajra Waheed’s multidisciplinary practice explores issues including the relationship between surveillance and the networks of power that structure human lives, while also addressing the alienation of displaced subjects affected by legacies of colonial and state violence.

Hypomnemata (2023) and other works

Hypomnemata (2023) and other works

Kader Attia

Kader Attia’s poetic installations and sculptural assemblages investigate the far-reaching emotional implications of western cultural hegemony and colonial systems of power for non-western subjectivities, focusing particularly on collective trauma and notions of repair.

I Almost Made a Treaty Film (2023)

I Almost Made a Treaty Film (2023)

Natalie Ball

Natalie Ball investigates histories of Native American symbolism in dialogue with contemporary Indigenous iconography to propose alternative definitions of Native life.

I am from there. I am from here (2023)

I am from there. I am from here (2023)

Mithu Sen

Mithu Sen unpacks and interrogates systems of social exchange, modes of self-representation and notions of the taboo through close readings and manipulations of language and the body.

Japanese Occupation (1989) and other works

Japanese Occupation (1989) and other works

Brenda Fajardo

Brenda Fajardo is a painter, printmaker, community organiser and art educator whose practice began to take shape in the midst of the Marcos dictatorship, an era in which critics of the Filipino regime were consigned to detention, torture or disappearance.

Kinyu (2007) and other works

Kinyu (2007) and other works

Eubena Nampitjin

An elder of the Wangkajunga people and respected custodian of its women’s law, Eubena Nampitjin (1921–2013) utilised her knowledge of Aboriginal ceremonies to produce large-scale canvases that reflect the strength of her Aboriginal culture and community.

Long Hanging Fruits (2022–ongoing)

Long Hanging Fruits (2022–ongoing)

Elia Nurvista

Often through collaborative projects, Elia Nurvista reflects on concepts within food discourse related to globalisation, material extraction, exploitation and exotification.

MADRE (2019–ongoing)

MADRE (2019–ongoing)

Marisol Mendez

Marisol Mendez’s work journeys into ancestral and collective histories of colonialism, racism and traditionalism—all of which shaped her experience of growing up in Cochabamba, Bolivia.

Mapping Water (2023)

Mapping Water (2023)

Naiza Khan

With ecological research at the centre of her intersecting artistic interests, Naiza Khan considers the ways in which geography materialises power and facilitates the collective remembrance of colonial histories.

My Land My Memory (2023)

My Land My Memory (2023)

Marwah AlMugait

Marwah AlMugait uses visual, technological and performative elements to explore humanity’s connection to the natural world, issues of migration and displacement as well as the mechanics and ambiguities of
human interaction.

Nosferasta: First Bite (2021)

Nosferasta: First Bite (2021)

Adam Khalil and Bayley Sweitzer with Oba

Adam Khalil is a filmmaker artist and Ojibway tribal member whose work amplifies Indigenous artist voices. Bayley Sweitzer is a filmmaker whose lens-based practice seeks to advance radical political futures. Oba is a multidisciplinary artist, musician and actor.

Nubian warrior (2021) and other works

Nubian warrior (2021) and other works

Fathi Hassan

Fathi Hassan explores the colonial erasure of ancient languages and oral histories as well as the ambivalence and fallibility of semiotic meaning.

Once We Were Warriors (1981–1999)

Once We Were Warriors (1981–1999)

Omar Badsha

Omar Badsha’s work focuses on themes of identity, alienation and politics as associated with diverse histories of South Africa, specifically those overlooked by the western artistic canon.

Only Sound Remains (2014) and other works

Only Sound Remains (2014) and other works

Raheleh Filsoofi

Raheleh Filsoofi’s practice addresses the customs that mediate everyday experiences through research, education, community- centred work and performance.

Porosity Valley 2: Trickster’s Plot (2019) and other works

Porosity Valley 2: Trickster’s Plot (2019) and other works

Ayoung Kim

Centred around notions of crossings, transmissions and reversibility, Ayoung Kim’s practice builds complex, nonlinear narratives
of modern Korean history using characters that experience the transnational push and pull of technological advancement.

Pursuit (2005)

Pursuit (2005)

Steve McQueen

Steve McQueen is an artist and filmmaker whose practice explores the tactility and corporeality of the moving image, impressing upon his audiences a more acute awareness of their bodies in relation to physical space.

Racism (2001) and other works

Racism (2001) and other works

Semsar Siahaan

The artistic output of Semsar Siahaan (1952–2005) showcases his deep engagement with Indonesia’s history and political legacies, his keen eye for social commentary and his front-line experience during a time of great national unrest.

Red in Tooth (2020–ongoing)

Red in Tooth (2020–ongoing)

Dala Nasser

Dala Nasser’s multimedia practice examines human and non-human entanglements within a perpetually deteriorating environment

Resistance (2019)

Resistance (2019)

Hank Willis Thomas

At the intersection of art and activism, Hank Willis Thomas’ work reframes material from contemporary consumer culture and histories of colonialism, shedding light on the legacy
of oppressive systems and stereotypes.

Rolling Figures 2.0 (2022)

Rolling Figures 2.0 (2022)

Malala Andrialavidrazana

Malala Andrialavidrazana works across disciplines to examine communication, dialogue and difference within cross-cultural contexts.

Searching for Libertalia (2019)

Searching for Libertalia (2019)

Shiraz Bayjoo

Shiraz Bayjoo’s practice elucidates forgotten histories that contain multiple layers of meaning and visual culture. Mainly working with repurposed archival displays, his works subvert oppressive western historical narratives that have defined the psyches of colonised peoples.

Shinkolobwe’s abstraction (2022)

Shinkolobwe’s abstraction (2022)

Sammy Baloji

Sammy Baloji’s photographic and sculptural assemblages braid together the pre- and post-colonial histories of the Democratic Republic of the Congo by examining the industrial and cultural heritage of the Katanga region.

Six Stations of Life Pursued (2022)

Six Stations of Life Pursued (2022)

Vivan Sundaram

Vivan Sundaram works with contextual responsibility and radical contradiction, exploring shifts of medium, different ‘languages’, historical acuity and memory archives.

Sour Things (2022)

Sour Things (2022)

Mirna Bamieh

A trained chef, Mirna Bamieh melds food and storytelling to develop socially engaged work through Palestine Hosting Society, a live art project she founded in 2018.

Spandex installations (2023) and other works

Spandex installations (2023) and other works

Joiri Minaya

Joiri Minaya is a Dominican- American multidisciplinary artist whose work investigates the continuity of colonial power hierarchies, often exploring the performativity of tropical identity and its commodification.

Speak the Wind (2015–2020) and other works

Speak the Wind (2015–2020) and other works

Hoda Afshar

At the intersection of conceptual, staged and documentary image- making, Hoda Afshar’s lens- based artistic practice explores the representation of gender, marginality and displacement.

Subterfuge (2023) and other works

Subterfuge (2023) and other works

Berni Searle

Berni Searle’s body is often at the centre of her work, rendered as a site of inquiry into prescribed notions of racial, gender and ethnographic identity.

The Agriculture School (2022–ongoing)

The Agriculture School (2022–ongoing)

Moza Almatrooshi

Moza Almatrooshi’s research investigates how territorial knowledge has been shaped across time, spanning agricultural practices, imperial impositions and postcolonial realities.

The Branded Hand of Jonathan Walker (2021) and other works

The Branded Hand of Jonathan Walker (2021) and other works

Roméo Mivekannin

Roméo Mivekannin’s reinterpretations of classical European art challenge western canonical representations of Blackness. The artist presents a series of canvases bridging unusual painting techniques and archival photographic images.

The Circle (2023)

The Circle (2023)

Bouchra Khalili

Reflecting on the concept of civic belonging, Bouchra Khalili examines the struggle of communities excluded from citizen memberships immigrants for equal rights and the
ways in which it continues to resonate in present times.

The In Between (2022–2023)

The In Between (2022–2023)

Carrie Mae Weems

Carrie Mae Weems’ approach to image-making ranges from staged and serialised narrative photography to the appropriation and adaptation of archival and ethnographic imagery.

The Letter for Peace from a Poet (1967)

The Letter for Peace from a Poet (1967)

Wook-kyung Choi

Wook-kyung Choi (1940–1985) envisioned her body of work as a commitment to personal expression, aiming for a form of abstractionism in which the depicted subject
could be clearly recognised.

The Myth of Eternal Life (2020–2022)

The Myth of Eternal Life (2020–2022)

Zohra Opoku

Zohra Opoku traces the politics of personal identity from a critical perspective informed by historical, cultural and socioeconomic influences in contemporary Ghana.

The Retrieval, Restoration
and Predicament (2018) and other works

The Retrieval, Restoration and Predicament (2018) and other works

Lee Kai Chung

Lee Kai Chung explores historical events and the material-ideological transformations of political systems. Four related multimedia works interrogate the personal
and material transformations of Hong Kong during its short-lived occupation by the Imperial Japanese Army.

the rhythm of consent (2022) and other works

the rhythm of consent (2022) and other works

Diedrick Brackens

At the centre of Diedrick Brackens’ intricate tapestries lie the loaded associations of cotton with the legacy of the transatlantic slave trade. Brackens’ series of allegorical tapestries are inspired by ancient West African Adinkra symbology.

The Wake (2021)

The Wake (2021)

The Living and the Dead Ensemble

The Living and the Dead Ensemble creates narratives interweaving Haiti’s present with its mythical, colourful and often forgotten histories.

The Willing (2022–2023) and other works

The Willing (2022–2023) and other works

Helina Metaferia

Challenging the Eurocentrism of art, amplifying the labour of BIPOC women activists and evaluating notions of citizenship, Helina Metaferia seeks to elucidate the contradictions at the core of American identity.

These three remain (2023)

These three remain (2023)

Gabrielle Goliath

Gabrielle Goliath’s practice lies at the intersection of art and activism, challenging the paradigms of racialised and sexualised violence that underpin postcolonial and post- apartheid societies.

Trail (2022) and other works

Trail (2022) and other works

Nilima Sheikh

Combining ancient mythology with modern history, Nilima Sheikh draws on diverse narrative and visual layering to compose symbolic dramaturgies and ephemeral landscapes dealing with themes of migration, exile, tradition and poetry.

Treasured Shadows (2022)

Treasured Shadows (2022)

Aziza Shadenova

Aziza Shadenova’s paintings, films and performances interrogate the world of emotions and memories and advance non- linear understandings of time.

Tree (2006) and other works

Tree (2006) and other works

Shelley Niro

Shelley Niro’s practice challenges the clichéd perceptions and circumscribed expectations projected onto First Nations communities.

Two-Seater (2020) and other works

Two-Seater (2020) and other works

Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum

Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum’s boundary-defying practice attempts to transfigure notions of power and agency for Black subjectivity within systems that would otherwise dismiss the complexity and nuances of its cultural and intellectual histories.

Under the Cold River Bed (2021)

Under the Cold River Bed (2021)

Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige

Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige’s collaborative projects range from investigating disappearances during the Lebanese Civil War to rediscovering a forgotten space project from the 1960s to giving materiality to internet scams and examining the geological undergrounds of cities.

Until we became fire and fire us (2023)

Until we became fire and fire us (2023)

Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme

Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou- Rahme’s multidisciplinary practice maps out a contemporary landscape shaped by a sense of perpetual crisis as well as a politics of desire and disaster.

Untitled (Mid-1970s) and other works

Untitled (Mid-1970s) and other works

Nelly Sethna

At the intersection of textile design, crafts research and activism, Nelly Sethna (1932–1992) applied her skills as a weaver to create new visual languages, departing from the nationalist aesthetics expected of artists in post-independence India.

Water is a Time Machine (2023)

Water is a Time Machine (2023)

Aline Motta

Sifting through traces of the past, Brazilian visual artist Aline Motta seeks to reveal the constant cycles of renewal and transmutation that have occurred throughout her family’s history.

We, The People (2018–2022)

We, The People (2018–2022)

Varunika Saraf

Varunika Saraf draws upon archival and mythical imagery to reference complex histories of South Asia and their place in the political and social arrangements of contemporary India.

Will the Gods Belong? (2023)

Will the Gods Belong? (2023)

Maitha Abdalla

Maitha Abdalla utilises cultural narratives rooted in notions of nostalgia, memory and folklore to question the dynamics of power often represented in parables.