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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 13 November 2018

Three major art exhibitions come to Sharjah

Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi, the president and director of the Sharjah Art Foundation, was on hand to introduce the three exhibits by three artists to be shown over three months.
An image from Wael Shawky’s video artwork, Al Araba Al Madfuna II, which goes on display in Sharjah from today. Courtesy Wael Shawky
An image from Wael Shawky’s video artwork, Al Araba Al Madfuna II, which goes on display in Sharjah from today. Courtesy Wael Shawky

SHARJAH // Sharjah Art Foundation has announced three months of major solo art exhibitions.

They are Wael Shawky: Horsemen Adore Perfumes and other stories; Susan Hefuna: Another Place; and Rasheed Araeen: Before and After Minimalism.

The exhibitions were announced by Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi, the president and director of the foundation, who said the shows would run from March 13 until June 13.

The opening of Hefuna’s exhibition will take place at Bait Al Serkal, in the Sharjah arts area at 6pm on March 13, and will be followed by the openings of Shawky and Araeen’s exhibitions at 7pm in the foundation’s art spaces, Al Mureijah, in Sharjah Heritage Area.

Horsemen Adore Perfumes and other stories includes videos, installations, sculptures and drawings, highlighting Shawky’s interest in how history is rewritten, documented and interpreted.

His multilayered works explore the effects of globalisation on modern society and force viewers to navigate the territory of truth, myth and stereotype.

Also featured in the exhibition will be his new work, Al Araba Al Madfuna II, that premiered at London’s Serpentine Gallery in November last year.

Co-produced by the Wiener Festwoen and Sharjah Art Foundation, the film retells the parables Horsemen Adore Perfume and The Offering by the Egyptian novelist, Mohammed Mustagab.

Araeen’s Before and After Minimalism presents sculptures, paintings and drawings created by the influential Pakistani-born British artist during a career that has lasted more than 50 years.

This first major exhibition of the artist’s work in the region includes early paintings and drawings, documentation of participatory and performance works, seminal sculptures from the 1960s and a new sculpture specially commissioned for Sharjah, called Sharjah Blues. The exhibition has been supported by the British Council.

Installed in a converted traditional Emirati home, Hefuna’s Another Place show brings together a large selection of work by the German-Egyptian artist, which will all be on display together for the first time.

Sculptures, drawings, photography and videos created from the 1980s to the present day, reveal her focus on structure in her practice.

The exhibition includes drawings from Tokyo, Istanbul, New York and a new series, titled Sharjah Ceilings, created specifically for this exhibition.

“I’m excited to see more than 200 of my works created between 1984 and 2014 showcased in this exhibition together for the very first time,” said Hefuna.

“Bait Al Serkal, which contains more than 45 rooms, corridors, a large courtyard, windows and doors, is the perfect location for my works, as the atmosphere of the building reminds me of a breathing human being with memories, present and past, unconsciousness, hidden corners and surprises.”

She said the visitor would enter the building and discover works along the way, in a labyrinth-like setting.

The spirit of the works is unveiled through the dynamic changes in light and shadows. Patterns emerge from the shadows between the inside and outside space.

“I discovered similarities to the structures of my drawings,” Hefuna said. “Inspired by Bait Al Serkal, I did a series of ink drawings titled Sharjah Ceilings in 2013, and Sharjah Afaz Drawings in 2014, which is a site-specific installation made from palm wood in the courtyard of Bait Al Serkal.

“All works in this exhibition are interconnected in a way. The dialogue between the house, the works and the viewers is a unique and amazing experience.”

ykakande@thenational.ae