Founded in 1993, the Sharjah Biennial has grown from a traditional and regionally focused exhibition into the global event it has become today. Originally modelled on a classic biennial format with artists chosen to officially represent each participating country, the Biennial provided a rare glimpse into the world of artistic practice.
In 2003, the Biennial saw a marked shift in direction as Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi took on the role of co-curator with artist and curator Peter Lewis. With two artists at the helm, the focus turned more directly towards the art and the individual artists themselves, thereby establishing what has proven to be an enduring theme in the Biennial’s future manifestations.
About the Exhibition, /seconds
Invited by the Sharjah Art Foundation the exhibition followed the collaborative work of Sheikha Hoor Al-Qasimi and Peter Lewis since 1998, who had together initiated the 6th International Biennial, which anticipated the design and building of a major Art Foundation by Hoor Al-Qasimi that would focus the Arab region and countries in terms of its exhibitions and events toward establishing a universal dialogue. Sheikha Hoor Al-Qasimi and Peter Lewis had established these changes to the Biennial in 2003, at a time of international conflict. In the last decade Sharjah Art Foundation has stood as the intellectual meeting place that brings together artists and publics from a world tragically divided. The exhibition /seconds, in its conception echoes the desire to articulate the universal, as a new and provocative conception and, more profoundly, about the general conditions for articulating a new truth about the present time.
/seconds has curated over 100 artists posters and 40 video works, for this exhibition, selected from the commissioning of the journal since 2004. The works chosen by Sheikha Hoor Al -Qasimi, Director of the Foundation and Peter Lewis, explore cultural productions in global culture, whose space and time has been accelerated by the Internet, through the temporal immediacy of audio-visual transmissions. The exhibition includes work that presented these transmissions in a range of practices, precisely in how they are to be exchanged throughout the world. This particular curatorial work, bringing together the Arab world with other cultures, constitutes a radical activity of independent curating, in how museums can perform in response to the urgency of establishing critical and structured dialogue through art, and conference. In this, the exhibition engaged with perceptions of time and space, by which Lewis and Al-Qasimi sought to challenge the models of museum display. In the endeavour the project was significantly contemporary, being an artist collaboration, following in the lineage of avant-garde practices working critically in the terms of art’s universal principle and potential for change.
Abdullah Al Saadi, Emily Allchurch, Conrad Atkinson, Fabienne Audéoud, George Bolster, Tony Chakar, Elizabeth Chadwick, Gordon Cheung, Ami Clarke, Stephen Clarke, Judith Cowan, Roger Cremers, Myriam Custers, Shezad Dawood, Sean Dower, Milena Dragicevic, Thomas Draschan, Alan Dunn, Paul Eachus, Laura Emsley, Al Fadhil, Nooshin Farhid, Anna Faushauer, David Ferry, Damian Flores Cortes, Peter Fillingham, Leo Fitzmaurice, Alison Gill, Margarita Gluzberg, Alex Hamilton, Margaret Harrison, Laura Hatry, Dan Hays, Taraneh Hemami, Aaron Hobson, Janet Hodgson, Mandy Lee Jandrell, Mohammed Kazem, Peter Kennard, Uta Kögelsberger, Karen Knorr, Colm Lally, Thaniel Lee, Liliane Lijn, Rut Blees Luxemburg, David Mabb, Ruth Maclennan, Melanie Manchot, Kito Mbiango, Makiko Nagaya, Adam Nankervis, Warren Neidich, Guillaume Paris, Nada Prlja, Annie Ratti, Cullinan Richards, Graziella Rizkallah Toufic, Giorgio Sadotti, Hilary Koob-Sassen, Edgar Schmitz, Hassan Sharif, Lisa Stansbie, Sergei Sviatchenko, Jalal Toufic, Rob Voerman, Jonathan Whitehall, Cindy Wright, Takayuki Yamamoto. This exhibition also presents a special section composed of selected artists’ video and audio from issues 1-14 with works by:
Asa Anderson, Paul Allsopp, Martyn Blundell, Ben Brierley, Tim Brotherton, Edward Chell, James Chinnock, Rosie Cooper, Patrick Courtney, David Cunningham, James Early, Luciana Farinati, William Furlong, Mark Harris, Véronique Janin Devoldère, Ben Judd, Anne Keleher, Conor Kelly, Peter Lewis, Peter Lloyd Lewis, Katrin Lock, Karl Lydon, Elizabeth McAlpine, Monika Oechsler, Uriel Orlow, Mark Pickles, Adrian Shaw, Marie-Anne Souloumiac, Stuart Tait, Anders Weberg, Cecilia Wee, Robert William, Jo Wonder