SHARJAH BIENNIAL: Highlights


By Martin Macdonald

Organised by the Sharjah Art Foundation with Eungie Joo in the role of Curator and Ryan Inouye as Associate Curator, the Sharjah Biennial 12: The past, the present, the possible explores the idea of what is possible through art. In other words, the current edition, held in and around the UAE city of Sharjah as well as the seaside town of Kalba, considers new possibilities for social organisation and ways to transcend cultural and political boundaries. Fifty artists from over 25 countries have been selected to participate in the event and two-thirds of these present new works and commissions. The biennial runs from 5 March - 5 June 2015.

Editor's Picks:
Adrián Villar Rojas - Asunción Molinos Gordo - Damián Ortega - Rirkrit Tiravanija - Saloua Raouda Choucair - Leonor Antunes - Abdullah Al Saadi - Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme  - Abraham Cruzvillegas  - Haegue Yang  - Rayyane Tabet  - Julie Mehretu



Adrián Villar Rojas. Planetarium, 2015. Site-specific installation. Commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation. Courtesy kurimanzutto, Mexico City; Marian Goodman Gallery, New York; and the artist. Kalba Ice Factory, Sharjah Biennial 12. Photo: Jörg Baumann. © 2015 baumann fotografie frankfurt a.m.


Adrián Villar Rojas. Planetarium, 2015. Site-specific installation. Commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation. Courtesy kurimanzutto, Mexico City; Marian Goodman Gallery, New York; and the artist. Kalba Ice Factory, Sharjah Biennial 12. Photo: Jörg Baumann. © 2015 baumann fotografie frankfurt a.m.


Adrián Villar Rojas. Planetarium, 2015. Site-specific installation. Commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation. Courtesy kurimanzutto, Mexico City; Marian Goodman Gallery, New York; and the artist. Kalba Ice Factory, Sharjah Biennial 12. Photo: Jörg Baumann. © 2015 baumann fotografie frankfurt a.m.


Asunción Molinos Gordo, WAM (World Agriculture Museum), 2010/2015. Mixed-media installation. Dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist

Asunción Molinos Gordo, WAM (World Agriculture Museum), 2010/2015. Mixed-media installation. Dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist

Asunción Molinos Gordo, WAM (World Agriculture Museum), 2010/2015. Mixed-media installation. Dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist



Damián Ortega, Talking Wall, 2015. Wooden cast, clay, sand, gravel, hay, rocks, Styrofoam ear pieces and flexible PVC pipes. Dimensions variable. Commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation. Courtesy kurimanzutto, Mexico City and the artist. Installation view, Sharjah Biennial 12. Image courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation. Photo by Alfredo Rubio


Damián Ortega, Talking Wall, 2015. Wooden cast, clay, sand, gravel, hay, rocks, Styrofoam ear pieces and flexible PVC pipes. Dimensions variable. Commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation. Courtesy kurimanzutto, Mexico City and the artist. Installation view, Sharjah Biennial 12. Image courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation. Photo by Alfredo Rubio



Rirkrit Tiravanija, untitled 2015 (Eau de RRose of Damascus). Mixed-media installation. Commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation. Courtesy of the artist. Installation view, Sharjah Biennial 12. Image courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation. Photo by Shanavas Jamaluddin


Rirkrit Tiravanija, untitled 2015 (Eau de RRose of Damascus). Mixed-media installation. Commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation. Courtesy of the artist. Installation view, Sharjah Biennial 12. Image courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation. Photo by Shanavas Jamaluddin


Saloua Raouda Choucair, various works. Courtesy Saloua Raouda Choucair Foundation. Installation view, Sharjah Biennial 12. Image courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation. Photo by Alfredo Rubio

Leonor Antunes, The Unpredictability of Possible Future Uses, 2015. Leather, hemp, brass, steel, electrical cables, lamps, concrete and teak. Commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation. Courtesy of the artist. Installation view, Sharjah Biennial 12. Image courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation. Photo by Alfredo Rubio

Leonor Antunes, The Unpredictability of Possible Future Uses, 2015. Leather, hemp, brass, steel, electrical cables, lamps, concrete and teak. Commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation. Courtesy of the artist. Installation view, Sharjah Biennial 12. Image courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation. Photo by Alfredo Rubio


Abdullah Al Saadi, Scarecrows, 2013, Mixed-media installation. Courtesy of the artist. Installation view, Sharjah Biennial 12. Image courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation. Photo by Alfredo Rubio

Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme, The Incidental Insurgents (Parts 1–3), 2012–15. Mixed-media installation, Partial commission by Sharjah Art Foundation. Courtesy Carroll/Fletcher, London, and the artists. Installation view, Sharjah Biennial 12. Image courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation. Photo by Alfredo Rubio

Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme, The Incidental Insurgents (Parts 1–3), 2012–15. Mixed-media installation, Partial commission by Sharjah Art Foundation. Courtesy Carroll/Fletcher, London, and the artists. Installation view, Sharjah Biennial 12. Image courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation. Photo by Alfredo Rubio


Abraham Cruzvillegas, Reconstrucción2: Here we stand, 2015. Installation at the Animal and Bird Market in Sharjah. Commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation. Courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation © Photo: Deema Shahin


Haegue Yang, An Opaque Wind, 2015. Mixed-media installation. Commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation. Courtesy Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris; Greene Naftali,New York; Kukje Gallery, Seoul; Galerie Wien Lukatsch, Berlin; and the artist. Installation view, Sharjah Biennial 12. Image courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation. Photo by Deema Shahin


Haegue Yang, An Opaque Wind, 2015. Mixed-media installation. Commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation. Courtesy Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris; Greene Naftali,New York; Kukje Gallery, Seoul; Galerie Wien Lukatsch, Berlin; and the artist. Installation view, Sharjah Biennial 12 Image courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation. Photo by Deema Shahin


Rayyane Tabet, Cyprus, 2015. Wooden boat, steel anchor, pulleys, rope and hardware. Commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation. Courtesy Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Beirut and Hamburg, and the artist. Installation view, Sharjah Biennial 12. Image courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation. Photo by Alfredo Rubio.

Julie Mehretu, Works from the series Invisible Sun, 2014–15. Collection of Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark and private collection Courtesy carlier|gebauer gallery, Berlin; Marian Goodman Gallery, New York; and the artist. Installation view, Sharjah Biennial 12. Image courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation. Photo by Deema Shahin.