Sharjah Art Foundation has announced its summer and autumn programme for 2021, which includes the penultimate Sharjapan exhibition and a major show of artist collective The Otolith Group, as well as the return of annual initiatives.
Among the first to open for the summer season is the third iteration of Sharjapan, a four-year exhibition series dedicated to Japanese art and cultural practices.
Curated by Yuko Hasegawa, the exhibition is titled Remain Calm: Solitude and Connectivity in Japanese Architecture and examines old and new architectural projects in Japan, connecting them to ideas of connectivity in light of the pandemic, lockdowns and the "new normal".
Running until October 1, Sharjapan 3 will include sculptural models that explore abstract concepts, spatial and performative multimedia installations, as well as drawings, photographs and scale models of architectural projects, such as the Tai An tea house, which was built in 1582.
The foundation is also presenting two collection exhibitions, both opening on Saturday and curated by Hoor Al Qasimi, president and director of SAF.
The first, The Rain Forever Will be Made of Bullets, borrows its title from a work by Simone Fattal and brings together works focusing on the struggles and wars that occurred in the respective artists’ home countries through their exploration of artistic medium and source material. It includes works by Fattal, Etel Adnan, Lala Rukh and a selection of newly acquired sculptures and works on paper by Chaouki Choukini.
The second collection exhibition, When I Count, There Are Only You…, looks into radical ideas of humanity through the works of eight artists – Farhad Moshiri, Farideh Lashai, Iman Issa, Mandy El-Sayegh, Nari Ward, Prajakta Potnis, Rabih Mroue and Rasheed Araeen. The show’s title is drawn from a work by Lashai, which was itself inspired by Goya’s The Disasters of War.
Some works have been selected from past exhibitions, but there are also recent acquisitions previously not seen at the foundation.
Later in the year, SAF will present the first mid-career survey of Syrian-Armenian artist Hrair Sarkissian titled The Other Side of Silence. The artist has created two new commissions for the show, which will also include major artworks produced since 2006.
Sarkissian’s large-scale photographs are developed using a large-format camera, a lifelong practice first developed in his father’s photo studio in Damascus growing up. Sarkissian’s work often examines stories that official records and sources cannot tell and uses his photography to imagine landscapes related to historical traumas that remain unseen.
In November, the foundation will open Xenogenesis, which brings together the works of London art collective The Otolith Group created between 2011 and 2018. Referencing the African-American science-fiction novelist Octavia Butler’s legendary Xenogenesis trilogy, the artists – Anjalika Sagar and Kodwo Eshun – continue their practice in developing what they call "a science fiction of the present" through the use of images, voices, sounds and performance.
SAF’s annual initiatives will also return this year, including the ninth iteration of Vantage Point Sharjah, an annual photography show aimed at showcasing the works of emerging photographers. Vantage Point Sharjah 9, which draw works from an open call, will open on Saturday, September 18.
Meanwhile, the Sharjah Film Platform, which supports local and regional filmmakers, and Focal Point, the foundation’s annual book fair, will return in November and December respectively.
More information is available at www.sharjahart.org