Universes in Universe / Caravan / 6th Sharjah Biennial
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6th Sharjah Biennial
Press release, received from Peter Lewis, 21 January 2003

Sharjah Biennial 6 will represent 117 artists from 25 countries, as a questioning of the relations that constitute the global sphere that artists now are introjected into. Curators Hoor Al Qasimi (UAE) and Peter Lewis (Goldsmiths College) have worked with a number of other international curators including Britta Schmitz, (Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin), to select works for the Biennial. The new Expo Centre will host, with the Sharjah Museum of Art, works of installation, video and photography in a survey of contemporary practices, that have looked at the developments in the UAE and Arab world (recent survey 5/UAE at Ludwig Forum for International Art, Aachen, and of the work of curators and writers since Documenta X & XI, and Tamass, artist/theorists such as Tony Chaker and Jalal Toufic). The curators have selected works that as neither model nor exception, articulate the multiple, yet general discourses between aesthetic and politics in terms of both a diversification and co-inciding of representations and insurgencies. In the generalised terms of the postmodern / post-colonial conditions that are interrogated, also in view of recent 9/11 consequences, the Biennial aims to address the unheimlich 'peace', as part of its 'folly', showing the works of a socially immersive aesthetic in post-autonomous contexts emerging between cultural slippages of human artifice and discursive agency.

Opening simultaneoulsy at Expo Centre Sharjah, and at the Museum of Art, on April 8th until May 8th, the event breaks the mould of previous Biennials in representing new practices. More attention is given to the specificities of realising artists' projects. A retrospective of works by Eduardo Chillida is organised in conjunction by Dr. Dorothea Van de Koelen. The catalogue 590 pages, colour in two volumes, one commemorative, with also a short guide, will be written in Arabic and English and commissions essays from writers from UAE, Beirut, from Europe and USA, Japan to name a few. Prizes at $50,000. Guest Jurists Prof. Meg Cranston (Otis) and Prof. Janis Jefferies (Goldsmiths) join the symposium "Changing Horizons: New Aesthetic Practice "organised by critic Talal Moualla.

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