March Meeting 2021 Unravelling the Present
Usually organised as a three-day convening of artists, curators and art practitioners to explore critical issues in contemporary art, this edition of March Meeting takes place over 10 days and sets the stage for the 15th edition of Sharjah Biennial: Thinking Historically in the Present (SB15), which is due to open in 2022.
Originally scheduled for March 2020, MM 2021 examines the past thirty years of Sharjah Biennial, as an initiative and a model for disrupting the power of artistic monolingualism and as a horizon for developing another theoretical space for thinking historically in the present. Titled Unraveling the Present, this edition of Sharjah Art Foundation’s annual convening of art professionals brings together former Sharjah Biennial curators, artistic directors and artists as well as art historians and art critics to examine the role, place and impact of the Sharjah Biennial in the region and the global contemporary art scene at large. MM 2021 will also explore the evolution of the Sharjah Biennial, focusing on its shift away from traditional modes of curating and displaying art by activating non-institutional spaces, moving to non-geographic models of representation as well as the development of a year-round programme enabled by the establishment of the Sharjah Art Foundation.
MM 2021 is an integral part of the framework for Sharjah Biennial 15: Thinking Historically in the Present laid out by Okwui Enwezor (1963–2019) in spring 2018 and that he continued to develop until his untimely passing. Reflecting on his tremendous impact on contemporary art, Enwezor’s visionary work transformed contemporary art paradigms and laid out an ambitious intellectual project that influenced the evolution of institutions and biennials around the world, including the Sharjah Biennial. Enwezor saw the Sharjah Biennial as a model for displacing older, Western-based biennials by offering a critical alternative that was committed to the future of the art exhibition as a relevant platform for engaging with history, politics and society in our global present. SB15 will be realised by Hoor Al Qasimi as curator in conjunction with the SB15 Working Group and Advisory Committee.