Perform Sharjah, Sharjah Art Foundation’s new season of performances, opens this weekend with the presentation of two performative works, Every Brilliant Thing, adapted and directed by Ahmed El Attar and starring Nanda Mohamed; and Automobile 9, presented by Joe Namy.
Following the creation of its new Performance Department, the Foundation has organised Perform Sharjah to formalise and extend its commitment to supporting the creation and presentation of performance. The new programme is curated by Director of Performance and Senior Curator Tarek Abou El Fetouh.
As contemporary art increasingly blurs the boundaries between diverse artistic disciplines, performance artists have brought together theatre, music, contemporary dance and installation into their practice. During Perform Sharjah, regional and international artists will engage the public in their explorations of the city’s rhythm through their individual perspectives on its living urban structure as well as its architectural and cultural heritage. Perform Sharjah is deeply rooted in the emirate’s diverse communities, with programmes that engage closely with the city and its inhabitants.
Performance details and artist biographies follow:
Every Brilliant Thing
Dates: Friday and Saturday, 4 and 5 November 2022
Timings: 8:30 pm
Location: Bait Obaid Al Shamsi
Language: Arabic with no subtitles
The programme opens with Every Brilliant Thing, adapted and directed by Ahmed El Attar. The play features Nanda Mohamed, seated alone on an empty stage with only a minimal set, accessories and music. She has the challenging task of balancing the storyline with the energies of the audience, who are invited to participate and even improvise during the show.
Ahmed El Attar, director and playwright
Ahmed El Attar is a theatre director and playwright. He is the founder and artistic director of the Temple Independent Theatre Company; founder of Orient Productions for Film and Theatre; and founder and General Manager of Studio Emad Eddin Foundation that provides rehearsal, residency and training space to performing artists in Cairo. His works, which address socially relevant themes, have been performed to critical acclaim throughout the Arab world and internationally. El Attar earned a BA in Theatre from the American University in Cairo (1992) and an MA in Arts and Cultural Management from Paris III Sorbonne Nouvelle (2001), and was a Chevening scholar on the Clore Leadership Programme, UK (2009).
He was born in 1969 in Cairo, where he continues to live and work.
Date: Sunday, 6 November 2022
Timings: 8:30 pm
Location: Al Rolla Park Parking
Behind Al Rolla Square Car Park, one of the most vital and distinctive areas of the city, Joe Namy will present the ninth iteration of his sonic performance Automobile. Namy collaborates with the owners of cars fitted with exceptionally powerful, custom-made sound systems that are usually used to blare music at gatherings in the desert. He brings this practice into the centre of the city, connecting the speakers to create an enormous stereo system, simultaneously broadcasting field recordings gathered and composed by the artist.
Joe Namy, media artist, composer and educator
Media artist, composer and educator Joe Namy’s practice often addresses identity, memory and power structures embedded in sound and music. This includes the politics of bass, the colour and tones of militarisation, the migration patterns of instruments and songs as well as the complexities of translation—from one language to the other, from drum to dance, from score to sound. Namy graduated with an MFA from New York University (2010) and has independently studied jazz as well as Arabic and heavy metal drumming. His work has been performed, exhibited, screened and amplified at international venues, biennales and events across the world.
Born in 1978 in Lansing, USA, he lives and works between Beirut and London.
Previous SAF participation:
’32: Rescore, Air Arabia Curator in Residence Exhibition (2019)
Sharjah Biennial 13 (2017)
March Meeting 2016 and 2012
Admission is free; however, prior booking is required.
Book tickets at the Box Office, performance venues or online at ticket.sharjahart.org.
Information Centre, Al Mureijah Square
Saturday to Thursday, from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm
Friday, from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm
About Sharjah Art Foundation
Sharjah Art Foundation is an advocate, catalyst and producer of contemporary art within the Emirate of Sharjah and the surrounding region, in dialogue with the international arts community. The Foundation advances an experimental and wide-ranging programmatic model that supports the production and presentation of contemporary art, preserves and celebrates the distinct culture of the region and encourages a shared understanding of the transformational role of art. The Foundation’s core initiatives include the long-running Sharjah Biennial, featuring contemporary artists from around the world; the annual March Meeting, a convening of international arts professionals and artists; grants and residencies for artists, curators and cultural producers; ambitious and experimental commissions and a range of travelling exhibitions and scholarly publications.
Sharjah is the third largest of the seven United Arab Emirates, and the only one bridging the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. Reflecting the deep commitment to the arts, architectural preservation and cultural education embraced by its ruler, Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Sharjah is home to more than 20 museums and has long been known as the cultural hub of the United Arab Emirates. It was named UNESCO's Arab Capital of Culture for 1998 and the UNESCO World Book Capital for 2019.
Alyazeyah Al Marri
Sharjah Art Foundation