In its ninth year, Sharjah Biennial just keeps on getting better. We pick some of this year's best efforts
Laurence Weiner Don’t miss the writing on the wall – it’s going to be there: stark and slapped on in a prominent font. Weiner, a quintessential figure of ’60s modernism makes it to Sharjah this time around. He’s penning a song, apparently. We’re excited.
Haig Aivazian You may well know Haig. He spearheads exhibition design at The Third Line gallery here in Dubai. For the Biennial he presents FUGERE, or Refugee Olympics, examining the space between the franchises and the defranchised in professional sport.
Liliana Porter A New York-based artist with Argentinean roots, Porter works on the micro level. She uses a vastness of space to create tiny, idiosyncratic worlds with her found figurines. Keep an eye out.
Nida Sinnokrot A filmmaker and artist from Algeria, Sinnokrot presents her take on an iconic Ancient Egyptian symbol – the crossed arms, which she transposes on to a pair of bulldozer arms. Power is belief, it would seem.
Sherif El Azma Part of Past Of The Coming Days, the accompanying programme of films and performance curated by Tarek Abou El Fattouh, El Azma presents his experimental video about Egypt’s contemporary popular culture. Theatre Association; 3.30pm, March 19; 6.30pm on March 20 and 21
Elena Kovylina The Russian performance artist presents her two-part project, which recreates the film posters of Brigitte Bardot and re-enacts a scene from Bardot’s seminal film, And God Created Woman. Sharjah Art Museum, 1.30pm on March 17, 4.30pm on March 18
Doris Bittar Bittar has commandeered the city of Sharjah as her canvas, punctuating mosques, souks and highways with Bedouin patterns, putting embroidery on the roundabouts and underscoring the cultural evolution of Sharjah at every turn. You won’t be able to miss her.
Khalil Joreige and Joana Hadjithomas The Lebanese art duo always impresses us. After recent film I Want To See with Catherine Deneuve and Wonder Beirut, the duo now presents a series of works using images of Lebanese martyrs to explore the evolution of photography.
Lamya Gargash We’re particularly taken by the Emirati photographer’s Presence series, exploring the UAE’s abandoned homes. Now she presents a series exploring the traditional welcome rooms, or majlis, of her country.
And even if you don’t get art, you’ll get this…
Gita Meh You’ve been dragged to Sharjah, you haven’t got a clue what’s going on and you’re hungry. Skip over to Gita Meh’s performance art iftar... Wait, wait. When we say performance art, we mean she’s laboured so that everyone can share a huge Persian feast. When she premiered this piece at thejamjar last year we were impressed by her ability to shape a tablecloth from poured sugar and create a cross-cultural happening right there on the gallery floor. 1.30pm-3pm on March 18 at Serkel House.
Getting to the biennial
Sharjah is notoriously tough to get to (we’ve known taxi drivers to verge on tears at the thought) but worry not, an expertly piloted and complimentary shuttle service from Art Dubai at the Madinat Jumeirah will be running throughout the day from March 19–21.