Sign marking directions to the March Meeting venues.
The opening of the exhibition "Ziad Antar: Portrait of a Territory" by Lebanese artist Ziad Antar, Collections Building, Heritage Area, Sharjah. Curated by Christine Macel, Chief Curator, Musée National D’Art Moderne Centre Pompidou Paris.
Day 1 – Registration desk at Dar Al Nadwa in Sharjah's Calligraphy Square, the venue where most of the talks took place.
Latitudes during their presentation. Photo: Alfredo Rubio/Sharjah Art Foundation.
Firstly, Latitudes introduced the commission in the context of 'Portscapes' that was developed from its invitation to the Rotterdam-based artist and editorial duo Fucking Good Art (FGA) to live and work for a month in Rotterdam's Maasvlakte, and secondly, presented a commission addressed to Latitudes in the context of 'The Last Newspaper' in which we worked in the New Museum galleries for 3 months editing a weekly newspaper which became an incremental catalogue based on the micro-community of the exhibition.
Lunch breaks took place at the beautiful Bait Al Naboodah, a two-storey house from 1845.
Plaque marking the entrance to the Bait Obaid Bin Eissa Al Naboodah house.
Guests were treated to wonderful Emirati food.
At the end of the first day, the film "1395 Days without Red" by Anri Sala was premiered at Sharjah's Institute of Theatrical Arts. Šejla Kameric's film was screened on the 18 March at the courtyard of Bait Al Shamsi, Arts Area, Sharjah. Commissioned by UK's Artangel.
Second day – Panellists getting ready for the discussion on "The Importance of Site". With Yusaku Imamura (Tokyo Wonder Site, Japan), Adam Sutherland (Grizedale Arts, UK), Khalil Abdulwahid (Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, UAE), Lu Jie (Long March Space, China) and moderated by Anne Barlow (Art in General, USA).
Day 2 – Panel "Artist as nomad" with Basma Alsharif, Ziad Antar, Šejla Kamerić, Nikolaj Bendix Skyum Larsen and moderated by Sama Alshaibi (University of Arizona, USA).
Day 3 – Panel "The Biennial as Commissioning Agent" with Paul Domela (Liverpool Biennial, UK), Yuko Hasegawa (Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Japan & curator of the forthcoming Sharjah Biennial 2013), Abdellah Karroum (independent art researcher, publisher and curator, Morocco), Riyas Komu (Kochi Biennale Foundation, India) and moderated by Marieke van Hal (Biennial Foundation, Greece).
Sheikha Hoor Al-Qasimi, President of the Sharjah Art Foundation, giving her closing remarks of the March Meeting 2012.
Day 3 – Final drinks and snacks at Bait Al Naboodah before Tarek Atoui's performance at the Calligraphy Square. During the drinks, Sheikha Hoor Al-Qasimi announced the recipients of the 2012 Production Grants worth a total of 200,000 U$: Sean Gullette, Mario Rizzi and Lindsay Seers. The grants were judged by PS1 curator Peter Eleey, artist Isak Berbic, and Sharjah Art Foundation President Hoor Al Qasimi. More here.
Impressive setting for Tarek Atoui's performance "Revisiting Tarab" at the Calligraphy Square. Photo: Sharjah Art Foundation.
Tarek Atoui's (Lebanon 1980, lives in Paris) 5.5-hour-long incredible performance "Revisiting Tarab" involved the participation of 17 musicians and sound artists. Atoui writes:
"Tarab" is used in Arab culture to describe the emotional effect of music, and refers to the older repertoire rooted in the pre-World War I musical practice of Egypt and the East Mediterranean Arab world. In the occasion of Performa 2011, Atoui invited musicians and sound artists to travel to Beirut to explore the world's most extensive collection of Classical Arab music owned by Lebanese collector Kamal Kassar, which comprises over 5,000 old 78rpm shellac discs and tapes dating from 1903 to 1950s. Participants selected excerpts from the collection and independently composed their own interpretations of both the content and its possibilities in relation to the history of "Tarab".
(...) The structure and orchestration of the "Re-visiting Tarab" performance is inspired by the rules of the traditional wasla –literally meaning a connection or chaining together. In Egyptian music and Near East is a suite of several vocal and instrumental pieces composed and improvised anchored to the same maqam or harmonic mode– that compiles and shifts between musical forms such as the dulab – a short melodic and rhythmic introduction – the taqsim – an instrumental solo improvisation– and the muwashah – a song based on an Arab-Andalusian or Oriental poem. The performance was produced by Sharjah Art Foundation with the support of AMAR Foundation. More info: http://www.visitingtarab.com
20 March: Guests waiting to take the bus to Kalba opposite the Sharjah Art Museum.
On the last day a group of guests and journalists were taken 110km from Sharjah city to Kalba, the third most important city in the Emirate, on its east coast, whose road extends up to the border with Oman. Here the Sharjah Art Foundation is currently readapting a 200m2 concrete building by the creek to become the Kalba Art Centre, planned to open in a years time. (Ziad Antar’s ongoing exhibition "Portrait of a Territory" at Sharjah's Collection Building, includes photo documentation of this coastline taken between 2004 and 2011.)
holds a map of the area where Kalba's future art centre will be while Hisham Al Madhloum, director of the Sharjah Directorate of Art, points out the location and particularities of Kalba and its surroundings.
Bus nearby Kalba's creek, a mangrove swamp.
The future site of the Kalba Art Centre occupies a total area of 13,000 m2 and in the 1970s was originally intended to be used as a fish fertiliser factory but is now intermittently used as an ice factory and a boat repair shop. The former factory will have a space for exhibitions, a cafeteria, spaces for workshops and host artist residencies, and will be managed and programmed by the Sharjah Art Foundation.
Façade of the future Kalba Art Centre. This triple height pitched space overlooks the protected mangroves and heritage area across the creek.
Interior space of the future Kalba Art Centre.
Back in Sharjah, we did a final tour to see the show "What should I do to live in your life?" at Bait Al Serkal, opposite the Sharjah Art Museum, which presented film works by
Lee Kit, Minouk Lim, João Vasco Paiva, Part-time Suite and Yuk King Tan.
Entrance to Bait Al Serkal exhibition space.