Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Highlights of Sharjah Biennial 11

Sharjah Biennial 11 features diverse art practices that resonate with fine strands of the core curatorial theme: the diversity and complexity of different societies and cultures; political and spatial relations.Among the Indian participants at the important art event of the region are Ravi Agarwal; CAMP (Shaina Anand and Ashok Sukumaran); Shilpa Gupta; Amar Kanwar; Raqs Media Collective; and Studio Mumbai - Bijoy Jain.

In choosing these artists, the Biennial sought out those with an interest in the culture they were raised, and those creatively engaged in deeply exploring this background. When they visit any new location, they tend to perceive and interpret it with their own unique subjectivity, formed within their culture(s) of origin out of an amazing amalgam of sedimented habits as well as sensibilities.

They enter into a peculiar dialectical relationship with this new locale to produce new knowledge while in conversation with it. The process leads to hybrid knowledge and intercultural products, potentially constituting the genetic material for a novel culture. The curator and brain behind the showcase, Yuko Hasegawa, intends to use the courtyard as the central concept for this Biennial in two ways. It will be used both as a practical site and as a metaphorical condition for stimulating cultural negotiations and generating knowledge.

The courtyard is also seen as a plane of experience and experimentation—an arena for learning and critical thinking of a discursive and embodied kind. The curator adds: “I was inspired by the courtyard in Islamic architecture, in particular the historical courtyards of Sharjah. Originally private in nature, they can also function, to varying degrees, as ‘public’ social spaces depending on their size and location.

“Courtyards housing craftsmen's studios and exhibition spaces may function as semi-public areas. Some courtyards are completely private, requiring an invitation for more intimate gatherings. There is richness to courtyards as spaces that have the potential to intensely accumulate the memories of a local culture.”

No comments:

Post a Comment