Plot for a Biennial

Sharjah Art Foundation Announces Artists and Participants of the 2011 Sharjah Biennial

Curated by Suzanne Cotter and Rasha Salti in collaboration with Haig Aivazian

The Sharjah Art Foundation announces the presentation of work by 119 artists and participants from 36 countries across the globe for Plot for a Biennial, the 10th edition of the acclaimed Sharjah Biennial, March 16 through May 16, 2011. One of the oldest and most respected contemporary art events in the Middle East, the Sharjah Biennial has nurtured the creativity and collaboration of artists, arts organizations, and institutions throughout the MENASA region (Middle East, North Africa, South Asia) and internationally since 1993. For the occasion of Plot for a Biennial, the Sharjah Biennial has commissioned approximately 65 new works for a cutting-edge presentation of visual art, film, music, performance, video and publication. The 2011 artists and participants were selected by Plot for a Biennial Co-Curators Suzanne Cotter (Curator, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Project) and Rasha Salti (Creative Director ArteEast), and Associate Curator Haig Aivazian (Chicago-based independent curator, artist and writer).

Expanding on the geographic reach and focus of previous Sharjah Biennials, Plot for a Biennial merges what have traditionally been parallel formats of exhibition, film and performance into a multivalent sequence of encounters that extend from the Sharjah Art Museum to Sharjah’s historic Heritage Area, and sites throughout the city. The 2011 Sharjah Biennial will feature work by 119 artists, filmmakers, choreographers, writers, publishers and musicians, working individually and collaboratively, from Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Czech Republic, Egypt, England, Finland, France, Germany, Haiti, India, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Pakistan, Palestine, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Switzerland, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States.

Below is a list of currently confirmed artists and participants.

Dimi Mint Abba, Jumana Emil Abboud, Youssef Abdelké, Ebtisam Abdulaziz, Adel Abidin, The African Film Festival (Mahen Bonetti), Atfal Ahdath, Karim Ainouz, Hala Al-Ani, Abdullah Al Saadi, Ziad Antar, Doug Ashford, Mouna Atassi, Vartan Avakian, Hicham Ayouch, Yto Barrada, Judith Barry, Shumon Basar, Jane and Louise Wilson, Bahar Behbahani, Mustapha Benfodil, Omar Berrada and Érik Bullot, Alexis Bhagat and Lize Mogel, Alan Bishop and Sam Shalabi, Anna Boghiguian, Ammar Bouras, Dan Brault, Cabinet, Sophie Calle, CAMP (Shaina Anand and Ashok Sukumaran), Guillaume Cassar, Marie-Hélène Cauvin, Jem Cohen (with Luc Sante), Ziad Dalloul, Raffie Davtian, Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency, Trisha Donnelly, Başak Ertür, Ali Essafi, Solange Farkas (film program with Jonathas de Andrade, Roberto Bellini, Andrés Denegri, Edgar Endress, Regina José Galindo, Gabriela Golder, Claudia Joskowicz, Cesar Meneghetti and Enrique Ramirez), Harun Farocki, Simone Fattal, Mariam Ghani, Ahmed Ghossein, Sean Gullette, Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige, Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh, Gilbert Hage, Angela Harutyunyan and Aras Özgun, Khalid Hourani, Richard Ibghy and Marilou Lemmens, Hatem Imam, Alfredo Jaar, Emily Jacir, Amar Kanwar, Aisha Khalid, Bouchra Khalili, Bahman Kiarostami, Mark Lombardi, Lynn Love and Ann Sappenfield, Maha Maamoun and Haytham El-Wardany, Josephine Meckseper, Shohreh Mehran, Julia Meltzer and David Thorne, Almagul Menlibayeva, Ma’alem Abdelkbir Merchane and Pharoah Sanders, Naeem Mohaiemen, Tom Molloy, Houman Mortazavi, Fateh Moudarres, Jean-Luc Moulène, Rosalind Nashashibi, Melik Ohanian, Noma Omran, Imran Qureshi, Steve Reinke (film program with Barry Doupé, Harrell Fletcher, Antonio José Guzman, Standish Lawder and Erkka Nissinen), Walid Raad, Khalil Rabah, Omar Rajeh, Walid Sadek, Hrair Sarkissian, Matt Saunders, Samir Sayegh, Marcel Schwierin (film program with Jürgen Böttcher, Bjørn Melhus, Bill Meyers and Thomas Werner), Ashkan Sepahvand, Slavs and Tatars, Rania Stephan, Rayyane Tabet, Jorge Tacla, Jalal Toufic, Murtaza Vali, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, What, How and from Whom/ WHW (film program with Zbynek Baladran, Zanny Begg, Milica Tomić, Alexander Ugay, Ante Zaninović and Želimir Žilnik), Raed Yassin, Caveh Zahedi, Elias Zayat, Artur Żmijewski.

A complete, final list will be released in January 2011.

About Plot for a Biennial

Plot for a Biennial takes as its curatorial narrative the idea of a treatment for film, “scripted” around a constellation of keywords that include Treason, Necessity, Insurrection, Affiliation, Corruption, Devotion, Disclosure, Translation. These terms operate as motifs and serve to frame explorations in both subject matter and aesthetic positions. Among the central themes is the assertion of individual subjectivity within the realms of culture, religion and statehood. Equally central are questions around the aesthetics of art as seduction and formal dissidence, and the production and communicability of art as both dubious and potentially transformative. Located within a web of etymological tracings, the concept of treason, a word that shares its Latin roots with trade and translation, provides multiple registers of interpretation, from betrayal to translation and trade, the latter being activities central to the economy, history and culture of Sharjah. Proposing the Biennial as a script to be followed or improvised also allows for narratives and thematic chapters to emerge. In borrowing the structure of a film narrative, the Biennial is intended to function as a series of sequences, or reels, that unravel or are refashioned by visitors at different moments and over the course of the plot’s unfolding.

About the Sharjah Art Foundation

Sharjah Art Foundation supports the flourishing arts environment in the Gulf by nurturing artistic opportunities and actively pursuing both a regional and international program of cultural collaboration and exchange.

Sharjah Art Foundation builds on the pioneering role the Emirate of Sharjah has played in the artistic and cultural development of the Gulf region. Inspired by the cross-fertilisation and rich cultural diversity of the Emirates, the Foundation provides both national and international leadership in the production and presentation of contemporary visual arts. Recognising the central and distinctive contribution that art makes to society, the Sharjah Art Foundation cultivates a spirit of research, experimentation and excellence while acting as a catalyst for collaboration and exchange within the Middle East and beyond.