Sharjah Biennial 15: Thinking Historically in the Present

7 February – 11 June 2023


Project description

The Bagri Foundation is excited to be a Cultural Partner of the Sharjah Biennial which this year celebrates its 30th anniversary. Titled ‘Thinking Historically in the Present,’ the Sharjah Biennial 15 (SB15) was conceived by the late Okwui Enwezor and curated by Hoor Al Qasimi, Director of Sharjah Art Foundation. 

Sharjah Biennial 15 (SB15) reflects on Enwezor’s visionary work, which transformed contemporary art and established an ambitious intellectual project that has influenced the evolution of institutions and biennials around the world, including the Sharjah Biennial. Bringing together more than 150 artists from over 70 countries, SB15 will take place in 16 venues across the emirate of Sharjah. A robust programme of film, music and performance, to be announced later this year, will accompany the exhibition. For Enwezor, the contemporary art exhibition provided a means to engage with history, politics and society in our global present. He envisioned the invitation to curate this edition of Sharjah Biennial as a way to reflect on and contribute to the Biennial’s history and that of the overarching Foundation, and their role in addressing the need for institutional models outside of the West that support dialogue and the production and presentation of contemporary art responsive to our times.  

About Sharjah Biennial

The Sharjah Biennial is an international platform for exhibition and experimentation for artists from the region and beyond. Since 1993, the Sharjah Biennial has commissioned, produced and presented large-scale public installations, performances and films by artists around the world, bringing a broad range of contemporary art, cultural programmes and producers to the communities of Sharjah, the UAE and the region. Prior Sharjah Biennial curators include: Zoe Butt, Omar Kholeif, Claire Tancons, Christine Tohme, Eungie Joo, Yuko Hasegawa, Suzanne Cotter, Rasha Salti, Haig Aivazian, Isabel Carlos, Tarek Abou El Fetouh, Mohammed Kazem, Jonathan Watkins, Eva Scharrer, Jack Persekian, Ken Lum, Tirdad Zolghadr, Peter Lewis and Hoor Al Qasimi.

Image credits: Mleiha, Sharjah. Photo by Ali Omran