Sharjah Biennial 10 Plot for a Biennial

Posted: 11.03.2011

“Curated by Suzanne Cotter and Rasha Salti and Associate Curator Haig Aivazian, the Biennial will present new and specially commissioned works by contemporary artists, filmmakers, writers and performers from across the region and internationally.

Developing on the geographic reach and the focus on new production of previous 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 around the city

Plot for a Biennial will consider the production of art as subversive act. This plot proposes to place the artist within a web of etymological tracings that intersect the notion of treason. Acknowledging that treason shares its Latin roots with trade and translation, activities central to the political economy, history and culture of Sharjah; the biennial’s storyline will use the city as a setting where singularities and encounters occur.

Tailored to the idea of a treatment for film, replete with a plot and characters, the biennial will unfold around a constellation of keywords: Treason, Necessity, Insurrection, Affiliation, Corruption, Devotion, Disclosure, Translation. These terms operate as motifs and serve to frame explorations in subject matter and form. 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. Within this lexical framework, artists, filmmakers, performers and writers constitute a cast of players that include The Traitor, The Traducer, The Collaborator and The Experientialist.

Proposing the Biennial as a script to be either followed or improvised allows for a rethinking of conventions of the showcase, use of spaces and modes of display. It also enables a re-engagement with the rhythms of the city, inviting interaction from visitors and inhabitants of Sharjah. In borrowing the structure of a film narrative, the Biennial will function as a series of chapters, or reels, that unravel according to the design of its curatorial team, or to be refashioned by visitors at different moments and over the course of the plot’s unfolding

DAAR’s work is exhibited in the Shamsi compound.

16.03.11 – 16.05.11
Sharjah Art Museum, Arts & Heritage Areas