Salah M. Hassan

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The “Free-floating” Srinagar Biennale explores Kashmiri artists’ fractured sense of place through memory, nostalgia, loss and national belonging. Carlson delves into how the Srinagar Biennale adopts an innovative and free-flowing format that allows the Kashmiri community to assert a new visual narrative through a ‘rhizomatic’ approach by engaging viewers in a sensorial experience rather than a visual one.
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Against Art History critically evaluates decolonial art exhibitions and curatorial frameworks. It asks to what extent art history can be decolonial, when its disciplinary and architectural foundation, the museum, is an inherently colonial institution. Shirazi thus examines whether new curatorial frameworks, such as in Exhibitions Without Objects (EwO) which internationalise the modernist canon of non-Western arts, undo or amplify the violence perpetrated by Euro-American historical narratives.
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Art Biennials and the Mediterranean Conundrum surveys the last twelve editions of Manifesta. Through this examination, the essay evaluates neocolonial strategies that can be used to promote decolonial thinking and exhibition-making. It also situates the biennial as a territory where both fabrication and rethinking of the periphery paradigm occur.
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The Biennals in Pakistan explores popular political, religious and nationalistic dogmas that have influenced art-making in Pakistan since the 1990s. It addresses the gap between the conception and the reception of public art within Pakistani society that has arisen since the country began hosting visual art biennales and festivals in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad.
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Hatshepsut the Drag Queen explores the pitfalls and benefits of non-geographic framing in exhibition-making. Based on Johnson’s own experience as a Middle East North Africa curator at the National Museum of World Cultures in the Netherlands, the essay deconstructs thematic, region-specific exhibitions whilst seeking to expand terms of art viewership by learning from platforms such as the Sharjah Biennial.
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Karachi Biennale 2019 seeks to understand the context of visual art biennials in postcolonial South Asian countries, such as Pakistan, Bangladesh and India. It examines the relationship between art organizations and the social status quo through an analysis of Adeela Suleman’s installation Killing Fields of Karachi (2019). The work was subject to censorship during the opening of the Karachi Biennale in 2019.
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Lost Horizons: Revisiting CAMP’s Indian Ocean Projects narrates the story of how, by creating a dialogue with the global arts, the Sharjah Biennial has changed the character of the author’s hometown. Reflecting on the profound urban transformations in the historic neighbourhood where the Biennial is situated, Vali revisits two important projects made by the artist group CAMP: WHARFAGE Project (2009), set at Sharjah’s old dhow port, presented at the 9th Sharjah Biennial, and From Gulf to Gulf to Gulf (2013), a film that the group made collaboratively with the Indian sailors they first met in 2009, presented at the Biennial’s ...
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March Meeting Papers is a series of essays selected from Sharjah Art Foundation’s March Meeting 2021 Open Call, which invited artists, writers and thinkers to expand on curator Okwui Enwezor’s influential thinking about the biennial as a platform to engage with history, politics and society. Taken together, the series reveals the extent to which the biennial, such as the Sharjah Biennial now celebrating its 30th anniversary, has contributed to the realisation of new narratives and experiences of modern and contemporary art. Sharjah Art Foundation’s March Meeting is an annual convening of artists, curators and art practitioners from around the world who ...
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On the Verge of Now analyses three recent biennial editions: the Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber (2019), the 33rd São Paulo Biennial: Living Uncertainty (2016) and the 20th Sydney Biennial: The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed (2016). Together, they reveal how the biennial platform strongly projects onto global art discourse.
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Redefining the Art Institution’s Role in Society through Democratic Art-Centric and Digital Approaches evaluates the role of the National Gallery of Singapore in researching, presenting and conserving the world’s largest collection of South East Asian, modern and contemporary art. It simultaneously examines the shift from expert, passion-driven art establishments to public-service cultural institutions.
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To Avoid or To Embrace? addresses the objectification of Middle Eastern and North African artists in the Western-centric art sector. The essay offers an opportunity to expand the art market ecosystem by encouraging the inclusion of minority artists, gallerists, curators, cultural workers and spaces operated by people of colour.
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The World in Which We Find Ourselves discusses how Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber (2019) engaged with Caribbean artists who explore issues of global migration, displacement and dislocation. It also positions the Sharjah Biennial within key transnational art networks that highlight and activate perspectives from the Global South.

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