Press Release

Sharjah Art Foundation Announces Major 2020 Monographs, Exhibition Catalogues and Essay Compilations

Sharjah, UAE
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Sharjah Art Foundation (SAF) announced major original publications released under the Foundation’s imprint in 2020. Including monographs on significant modern and contemporary artists from the MENASA region, publications resulting from and documenting the latest edition of the Sharjah Biennial, and critical new texts on pressing topics in contemporary art, Sharjah Art Foundation’s latest titles represent a significant and ongoing expansion of the Foundation’s publishing arm. Working in collaboration with other scholarly and museum publishers around the world, the Foundation has produced more than 45 artist books, exhibition catalogues, monographs and critical theory texts to date as an extension of the Foundation’s longstanding commitment to producing original scholarship and providing platforms for significant artists and cultural practitioners from the MENASA region and around the world. 

‘Since our establishment in 2009, Sharjah Art Foundation has collaborated closely with artists, curators, cultural practitioners and institutions from around the world to produce and disseminate new scholarship that further strengthens and extends the reach of our initiatives,’ said Hoor Al Qasimi, President and Director of Sharjah Art Foundation. ‘This includes the Sharjah Biennial, our year-round exhibitions and other core Foundation programmes.’ 

Details about Sharjah Art Foundation’s 2020 publications follow below. Additional information can be found at sharjahart.org/sharjah-art-foundation/publications

Hassan Sharif: I Am The Single Work Artist

Publisher: Sharjah Art Foundation and Koenig Books, London | Pub Date: March 2020 | Available in US via D.A.P. (Distributed Art Publishers, Inc.) on 18 August 2020 | 320 pages | 45 USD

Recognised as a driving force in the transformation of the regional art community, Hassan Sharif was a pioneer of conceptual art and experimental practice in the Middle East. Moving between his roles as an artist, educator, critic and writer, Sharif influenced and encouraged the engagement of local audiences with contemporary art through his extensive Arabic translations of historical art texts and manifestos. He was also the founder of informal art spaces and ateliers that supported interdisciplinary approaches to regional contemporary art through mentorship and exhibition, an approach that was ahead of its time. This special publication highlights these contributions to the development of local and regional artistic production. 

Edited by Hoor Al Qasimi, the publication does not follow the model of a typical exhibition catalogue or a chronological book but is rather an experimental work that reflects Sharif’s multidimensional practice and weaves a personal narrative from the various threads of his career. Presenting critical new research into Sharif’s career, this major volume includes images of lost works, original English translations from Sharif’s journalistic and experimental writings, and archival materials from ephemeral exhibitions as well as original dialogues and reflections by Sharif’s acclaimed contemporaries in the UAE. 

The monograph serves as a vital resource for scholarly and curatorial interest in contemporary art practice and as a reference for how cultural ideas travel and, in the process, are transformed. It was developed as part of the large-scale retrospective of the same name curated by Al Qasimi, which was presented across Sharjah Art Foundation’s venues in 2017–2018. 

The release of the monograph coincides with the European tour of I Am The Single Work Artist, which travelled to the KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, in early 2020 and is currently on view at Malmö Konsthall in Malmö, Sweden.

Art in the Age of Anxiety

Sharjah Art Foundation and Mörel Books, London | Publication date: October 2020 | Distributed by MIT Press | Distribution date: January 2021 (available for pre-order) | 400 pages | 34.95 USD

Art in the Age of Anxiety is a major new publication that brings together thought leaders in the field of image and internet culture to consider how consciousness has been deeply affected by the proliferation of everyday technological devices and platforms. Authored collectively during a period of lockdown, the book functions as a historical document of how we look at art in an age of crisis.

Art in the Age of Anxiety features a major scholarly contribution by the editor of the publication, Omar Kholeif, who is Director of Collections and Senior Curator, Sharjah Art Foundation. This text is presented alongside essays by Anonymous, Saira Ansari, Douglas Coupland, Heather Dewey-Hagborg, Aruba Khalid, Norman M. Klein, WJT Mitchell and Todd Reisz, with a foreword by Hoor Al Qasimi, President and Director of Sharjah Art Foundation. This 400+ page volume includes original reflections interspersed with artistic interventions that interrogate the digital realm from a range of perspectives. Published on the occasion of the historic exhibition Art in the Age of Anxiety, the book has been conceived as an exhibition and artistic experiment in its own right, weaving together photographic documentation of the show and explorations into the internet by many of the artists in the exhibition. Art in the Age of Anxiety was on view at Sharjah Art Foundation from June 26 to September 26, 2020. Presenting more than 60 artworks by over 30 artists in a bespoke architectural environment, it was the most ambitious exhibition ever staged in the Middle East to look at the relationship between art and the internet.

Abdul Hay Mosallam Zarara monograph

Publisher: Sharjah Art Foundation | Pub Date: August 2020 | 311 pages | 45 USD

This major monograph looks at the seminal work of Palestinian artist Abdul Hay Mosallam Zarara (1933–2020), who used his art to decry the violent suppression of his homeland and promote international solidarity worldwide.  

Edited by acclaimed artist Ala Younis with a foreword by Hoor Al Qasimi, the 300+ page book presents extensive colour images of Zarara’s work and archives, including personal memoirs translated into English, annotated material selected from past portfolios, press clippings reflecting on his notable career with quotes from the artist, an index of selected artworks, a bibliography and the artist’s exhibition history. The book is published by Sharjah Art Foundation as part of the SAF Monograph series, which offers in-depth insight into the lives and works of significant artists, including those from the MENASA region.

March Meeting 2019: Beyond The Echo Chamber

Publisher: Sharjah Art Foundation | Pub Date: August 2020 | 93 pages | 8 USD

Expanding on the work of Sharjah Art Foundation’s annual March Meeting—a three-day gathering of artists, curators and arts practitioners who discuss critical issues in contemporary art—this publication is a compilation of individual responses from March Meeting 2019 participants Federica Bueti, Golnaz Esmaili, Tala Gharagozlou, Özgün Eylül İşcen and Mahshid Rafiei. Providing important readings of both Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber and the corollary 2019 edition of the March Meeting, the contributors expand on the various themes and discussions through approaches ranging from the academic to the experimental.

March Meeting 2019 was curated by Sharjah Biennial 14 (SB14) curators Zoe Butt, Omar Kholeif and Claire Tancons.

Sharjah Biennial 14 Catalogue: Look for Me All Around You

Publisher: Sharjah Art Foundation and Prestel Publishing | Pub Date: October 2020 | 506 pages | 27.7 USD

This publication is one of three catalogues for Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber, curated by Zoe Butt, Omar Kholeif and Claire Tancons.

This publication, edited by Claire Tancons and Diego del Valle Rios/TERREMOTO, accompanies the platform Look for Me All Around You, part of Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving The Echo Chamber. This book charts a non-chronological time-space (dis-) continuum between the Americas and the Emirates, building unexpected trans-oceanic and multi-diasporic bridges for a global history. This volume provides interpretative, discursive, poetic, political, and theoretical tools to compare and contrast modes of migration, production, extraction, and exploitation through a series of 30 newly commissioned context-specific works and critical texts. Look for Me All Around You also operates as an artists’ book generative of readings on performance.

Corniche 2 

Publisher: Sharjah Art Foundation | Pub Date: December 2020 | 150 pages | 15 USD

A collaborative project bringing together UAE-based artists and illustrators, Corniche 2 is the second edition of a comic anthology that pays homage to the Sharjah corniche next to which the Foundation is located. This publication is a unique entry into the minds of 23 artists living in the UAE and the first publication of its kind to be produced in the UAE. It features a collection of comic stories in Arabic and English that have been created with a variety of tools, ranging from traditional ink and pencil to new media. 

The first edition of Corniche featured the work of 15 artists who worked together during a number of zine-making workshops in the lead-up to the Foundation’s annual art book fair, FOCAL POINT. This second edition includes comics made by over 20 artists meeting on Zoom calls and in virtual workshops. 

 

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