The Sharjah Art Foundation has announced further details on the forthcoming March Meeting and the Sharjah Biennial, which have each been delayed by a year.
The March Meeting, the talks and performances that are convened annually in Sharjah, will this year reflect on the global and regional impact of the Sharjah Biennial. Participants will include curators, artists and thinkers involved in past biennials, such as Christine Tohme, who curated the 2017 edition; Jack Persekian, who curated the 2005 edition; and Otobong Nkanga, who participated in the 2019 edition.
Other speakers in Unravelling the Present include scholars who have played an important role in developing the discourse of art from the Menasa region, such as Arab art scholar Nada Shabout, Africa Institute director Salah M Hassan and Pakistani scholar Iftikhar Dadi. Artists with links to the foundation’s overall programme, such as Zarina Bhimji, whose retrospective is currently on show, and John Akomfrah, whose projects have been supported by SAF, will also speak.
The March Meeting programme this year will take place over 10 days, and will be both in-person and available virtually. It serves as the launch pad for the biennial next year, which, even pre-pandemic, was always going to be an unusual – and special – one for the foundation: it honours and continues the ideas of the curator Okwui Enwezor, who died in 2019.
Enwezor's proposal for the biennial will be carried out by a team of those who worked with him on many important projects, such as Documenta 11 in 2002. The biennial – now planned for spring 2022 – will look at the form of the exhibition itself, elucidating how exhibitions can engage with and further the work of politics and society-building.
The biennial team will be led by Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi, who started the Sharjah Art Foundation and transformed the biennial into an international event. It is now in its 15th edition.
The March Meeting will take place at Sharjah Art Foundation from Friday, March 12 to Sunday, March 21.