Tarek Atoui performing at the opening of 'Tarek Atoui: Cycles in 11'. Sharjah Art Foundation, 2020

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Marking over a decade of collaboration with Sharjah Art Foundation and the surrounding community, Tarek Atoui’s exhibition Cycles in 11 centres around experimental and innovative musical forms and offers audiences opportunities to learn about and explore instrument-making, compositional structure and musical collaboration.

The works in the exhibition, developed over the last 11 years, represent the culmination of the artist’s ongoing exploration of different methods of listening, composition and performance. The instruments Atoui has created are the product of extensive research into music history and tradition as well as collaborations with different experts. Challenging established ways of listening through innovative approaches to sound, the instruments also build on the artist’s earlier project WITHIN, which grew out of years of work with Deaf culture. This project, originating in Sharjah, investigated how deafness can influence the way sound performance, space and instrumentation are understood.

Previously scheduled from March to June 2020 and now opening in autumn 2020, the exhibition will run for an extended period of six months. During the exhibition, the heritage house Bait Al Serkal, located in one of the oldest areas in the city of Sharjah, will operate as both a sound lab and a performance and listening space informed by the local tradition of hospitality. In Sharjah’s east coast city of Kalba, another sound lab will be set up close to the emirate’s natural reserves and archaeological sites. Cycles in 11 will also be the starting point for a regional and international residency programme that will extend into 2022. Musicians, composers and artists will be invited to develop new work for the residency, either individually or with different audiences in Sharjah.

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As part of the major solo exhibition Tarek Atoui: Cycles in 11, Sharjah Art Foundation announces a music residency programme that will bring 10 musicians, composers and artists to Sharjah to develop new work that interact with the installations within the exhibition.