Universes in Universe - Worlds of Art

1st Singapore Biennale
4 September - 12 November 2006

Symposium: The Biennale Complex

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Sharjah International Art Biennial
United Arab Emirates



Sharjah Art Museum


Sharjah Expo Centre



Sharjah is the third largest of the 7 constituent emirates of the United Arab Emirates. It rates as the cultural centre of the Federation. In 1998, Sharjah was UNESCO cultural capital of the Arab World.

Since 1993, the Department of Culture and Information of the Emirate of Sharjah has hosted the international Art Biennial in the city of that same name. The aim is to encourage contacts between artists, and art institutions and organizations of the Arab countries and to promote exchange with art scenes in other parts of the world. This accounts for a high proportion of Arab artists in all previous editions.

Hoor Al Qasimi took over the Biennial's direction in 2002. Before, the event was concentrated on painting, graphic arts, and sculpture. These features remain part of the concept, but for the first time, the focus was on "new art practices", such as installation, video, photographic art, performance, digital and web art. In cooperation with other curators, the Biennial concentrated its search on artworks corresponding to the criteria of "discourses between aesthetics and politics". The drive for a renewal of the Biennial was also evident in the theme and concept of the international symposium running under the title "Art in a Changing Horizon - Globalization and New Aesthetic Practice".

The 7th edition of the Sharjah Biennial in 2005 consolidated the renewal process, again under the direction of Hoor Al Qasimi and with a curatorial team headed by Jack Persekian, who will be the artistic director of the 8th Sharjah Biennial in 2007 as well. It will be focused issues of environment, art, and ecology.



1st Edition: 1993

>> official website

Reports, photo tours
of the Sharjah Biennials 2003 and 2005, published by Universes in Universe.


Symposium: The Biennale Complex