Sharjah Art Foundation announced exhibitions and programmes for early 2024
Sharjah Art Foundation’s schedule of exhibitions and programmes follows below.
ArtDayME: Sharjah Art Foundation recently announced exhibitions and programmes for early 2024. The Foundation is committed to providing a platform for artists from the MEASA (Middle East, Africa, South Asia) region while also acting as a catalyst for collaboration and exchange with the international arts community.
The Foundation will host its annual March Meeting, featuring roundtable discussions, workshops, performances and more. March Meeting 2024 focuses on collectives whose practices intertwine art making and community building, examining various forms of collaboration that advance social justice. Also upcoming are two significant solo exhibitions: the first major survey of the late Pakistani artist and women’s rights activist Lala Rukh and the largest solo presentation of artworks by Ethiopian telsem artist Henok Melkamzer. Other early 2024 exhibitions include the first major museum exhibition of artists from the renowned Casablanca Art School in Morocco, following its debut at Tate St Ives, as well as two special exhibitions of works from the Sharjah Art Foundation Collection: one centring on recent acquisitions of works in drawing and printmaking and another by artists who have dedicated their practice to informing and educating audiences on the history of Palestine. In addition, Perform Sharjah—the Foundation’s performing arts programme—returns for its second season with performances by Essia Jaïbi and Jalila Baccar, Radouan Mriziga, Rayanne Tabet, Tao Ye and more.
Sharjah Art Foundation’s schedule of exhibitions and programmes follows below:
March Meeting 2024
1–3 March 2024
Sharjah Art Foundation’s annual March Meeting convenes artists, curators and art practitioners from around the world to discuss vital issues in contemporary art. The upcoming edition focuses on collectives whose practices intertwine art making and community building, examining various forms of collaboration that advance social justice.
March Meeting 2024 (MM 2024) will examine collaborative methods and modalities that both reappraise artistic, curatorial and activist approaches and reconfigure the role of art and artists in our current lived realities. It also considers alternative forms of coming together, such as learning platforms, activist movements, correspondences or publishing, which can serve as toolkits for social justice, solidarity and political mobilisation.
Through talks, roundtable discussions, lectures, workshops, performances and more, MM 2024 invites participants to radically reimagine more inclusive, equitable, sustainable and liveable futures. Sessions will prompt dialogue around questions such as the following: How does collaborative work enhance notions of artistic agency, especially in moments of global unrest? Can the mutual sharing of artistic and cultural resources help us navigate precarity, stimulate dialogue and encourage equity?
Exhibitions and Programmes
In the eyes of our present, we hear Palestine
23 December 2023–14 April 2024
Old Al Dhaid Clinic and Arts Palace (Khalid Bin Mohammed Palace), Al Dhaid
This special exhibition presents over 60 works from the Sharjah Art Foundation Collection, showcasing the creativity of artists who have dedicated their practice to informing and educating audiences on the history of Palestine—the occupation, the current political situation and issues of human rights. While bearing witness to forced displacement and devastating loss, the works also celebrate the rich identity and heritage of Palestine, invoking a spirit of solidarity.
Spanning from the late 1950s to the present, the works in the exhibition are by artists from Palestine and neighbouring countries. Together, these paintings, sculptures, installations and videos offer a glimpse into the challenges and hopes of the Palestinian community. The exhibition includes works by Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme, Adel Abidin, Ayreen Anastas and Rene Gabri, Simone Fattal, Tarek Al Ghoussein, Shadi Habib Allah, Hazem Harb, Mona Hatoum, Emily Jacir, Najat Makki, Jumana Manna and Sille Storihle, Rashid Masharawi, Khalil Rabah, Mario Rizzi, Raeda Saadeh, Mona Saudi, Basma Al Sharif, Nida Sinnokrot, Sharif Waked, Kamal Youssef and Abdul Hay Mosallam Zarara.
13 January–18 February 2024 (various dates)
Various dates and venues
Sharjah Art Foundation’s performing arts programme returns for its second season, activating public spaces, heritage houses and theatres throughout Sharjah. The programme engages with the city’s urban fabric through a range of performative works, workshops and talks. This year’s edition of Perform Sharjah features eight performances by a dynamic lineup of artists from various disciplines, including Jalila Baccar, Tao Ye, Essia Jaïbi, Radouan Mriziga, Rayyane Tabet, Judit Böröcz, Bence György Pálinkás, Máté Szigeti and Mohit Takalkar. Perform Sharjah is curated by Tarek Abou El Fetouh, Director of Performance and Senior Curator at Sharjah Art Foundation.
Lala Rukh: In the Round
24 February–16 June 2024
Galleries 1, 2 and 3, Al Mureijah Art Spaces
Lala Rukh: In the Round, the first major international survey of work by Lala Rukh, reflects on three decades of the late artist and activist's work in drawing, printmaking and video, produced against the backdrop of political turmoil and feminist movements in Pakistan. Her poetic compositions depict horizons, lunar movements, bodies of water, coastlines and archaeological sites, capturing a gradient of rhythms through her pared-down vocabulary of lines, ciphers and blackness.
The exhibition features rarely seen works from the early years of her practice, alongside original posters, publications and interviews with her collaborators during the time she was championing gender justice and civic rights. In addition to key archival material, In The Round brings together works from the Sharjah Art Foundation Collection as well as lesser-known series from Sigiriya, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan’s Gadani shoreline. Her final work, Rupak (2016), which represents a seamless intertwining of mark making, musicality and silence, is also exhibited for the first time in the region.
In the Round is curated by Hoor Al Qasimi, Director of Sharjah Art Foundation, and Natasha Ginwala, co-curator of Sharjah Biennial 16 and Artistic Director of COLOMBOSCOPE.
Henok Melkamzer: Telsem Symbols and Imagery
24 February–16 June 2024
Sharjah Art Museum
With more than 100 works, many on view for the first time, this exhibition is the largest solo presentation by telsem artist Henok Melkamzer, offering audiences a rare look at this distinctive Ethiopian art form. Traditionally termed a healing or talisman art, telsem is actually a sophisticated visual art form that incorporates philosophy and intricate themes into various symbols, drawings and texts imbued with deeper meanings.
Combining ancient inspirations with modern idioms, the artist's canvas works reconstruct the conventions of this traditional art form and broaden the understanding of ‘modern’ art. Organised in collaboration with The Africa Institute, Sharjah, and Sharjah Museums Authority, the exhibition is curated by Elizabeth Giorgis, Associate Professor of Art History, Theory and Criticism, The Africa Institute.
Casablanca Art School: Platforms and Patterns for a Postcolonial Avant-Garde 1962–1987
24 February–16 June 2024
Al Hamriyah Studios and Old Al Diwan Al Amiri, Al Hamriyah
Following its acclaimed showing at Tate St Ives, Sharjah Art Foundation presents the first major museum exhibition of works of the Casablanca Art School, whose revolutionary approach following Morocco’s independence in 1956 proposed a bold new visual culture. The Casablanca Art School was a pivotal movement that transformed the development of Moroccan modernism through public engagement, revalorisation of tradition, radical pedagogy and international solidarity. This landmark exhibition looks back at key moments in the development of the School by bringing together a wide range of works by more than 20 artists, from abstract paintings and graphic art to craftwork and ceramics, as well as a careful selection of rarely seen archival material.
Mohammed Chabâa graphic design studio at the Casablanca Art School, 1966. Photo: M. Melehi © M. Melehi archives/estate.
Co-organised by Sharjah Art Foundation and Tate St Ives in collaboration with Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, the exhibition is curated by Morad Montazami and Madeleine de Colnet for Zamân Books & Curating with Hoor Al Qasimi, Director of Sharjah Art Foundation, and with associate researchers Fatima-Zahra Lakrissa and Maud Houssais. The exhibition is also part of a key moment of international research into the Casablanca Art School, initiated in 2020 by KW Institute for Contemporary Art and Sharjah Art Foundation, in partnership with Goethe-Institut Marokko, ThinkArt and Zamân Books & Curating.
Drawing Time: Duets
4 May–4 August 2024
Gallery 4, Al Mureijah Art Spaces
The first instalment of a four-part series, this exhibition spotlights new and historical works from the Sharjah Art Foundation Collection that present the range and possibilities of drawing as a practice. Beginning with explorations of colour, texture and materials, the series will expand to consider the purpose of line, movement, performance and gesture across multiple forms of media. In this evolving exhibition and research project, drawing and print culture are examined in relation to contemporary artistic practices that are deeply rooted in centuries of Afro-Asian history. The first chapter of the series, Drawing Time: Duets, delves into the concept of the double, the pair, the rejoinder. Here, acts of repetition accumulate through a custom-designed scenography, where a crooning duet guides visitors across a century in time. The exhibition is curated by Dr Omar Kholeif, Director of Collections and Senior Curator at Sharjah Art Foundation.