Purple Art

[March 25 2015]

Sharjah Biennial 12, United Arab Emirates

The 12th Sharjah Biennial, curated by Eungie Joo and including work from over fifty artists including Purple’s favorite Rirkrit Tiravanija, opened on March 5th in the various art spaces dotted along the Corniche at the heart of the city. I traveled over to Sharjah from Dubai, excited to see both the curated works and the galleries themselves, especially Sharjah Art Foundation; a complex comprising several “houses” whose architecture plays beautifully with light and shadow. Other venues, such as the Sharjah Art Museum, Bait Al Serkal, Sharjah Institute for Theatrical Art, also give the Biennial a unique atmosphere and give you the opportunity to walk through the city as you navigate between them. The Biennial is part of Sharjah, operating with and within it: two site-specific installations are located in warehouses on the other side of the Creek at Port Khalid, a spot reachable most easily by water taxi. I took the abra over with a group of other visitors and artists (all of us pretty confused as to whether we were going in the right direction) and locals who use the abra as their daily transport (who seemed pretty confused why this group of people wanted to go to an abandoned warehouse in the middle of the port). In the end we found it. A security guard greeted us quietly while the late-afternoon sun beat down onto his face. 

Text and photo Nicola Powell

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