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Sharjah Biennial to Be Curated by Zoe Butt, Omar Kholeif, and Claire Tancons

From left to right, Omar Kholeif, Claire Tancons, and Zoe Butt.


The 2019 Sharjah Biennial will be curated by Zoe Butt, Omar Kholeif, and Claire Tancons. The Sharjah Art Foundation, which organizes the biennial, also announced today that the upcoming 14th edition, to open in March, will be called “Leaving the Echo Chamber.” The biennial will “question the possibilities for producing art when material culture is under constant threat of human destruction and climate degradation,” according to a release.

Each of the three curators will organize a section of the biennial. Butt, who is the artistic director of the Factory Contemporary Arts Centre in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, will stage a component to explore survival techniques under the title “Journey Beyond the Arrow.” Kholeif, the Manilow Senior Curator and director of global initiatives at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, will curate “Making New Time,” with a focus on chaos. Tancons, an independent curator, will create “Look for Me All Around You,” a section about the relationship between gazes and identity.

Hoor Al Qasimi, the president and director of the Sharjah Art Foundation, said in a statement, “Contemporary life is dominated by competing information and fluctuating histories—a reality that raises important questions about the trajectory of contemporary art, as well as the conditions in which it is made. Butt, Kholeif, and Tancons bring incredibly different perspectives to these questions, and together represent the complexity of challenges faced by today’s artists and society as a whole.”

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