Currently taking place in the United Arab Emirate of Sharjah until May 13, the Sharjah Biennial is a major event on the global art calendar. Being held for the 11th time in 2013, Sharjah Biennial 11 (SB11) “Re:emerge, Towards a New Cultural Cartography” was curated by Yuko Hasegawa who chose five Australian artists to take part in the event: Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan, Angelica Mesiti, Tintin Wulia, and Khaled Sabsabi.
Indonesian-born, Melbourne and Denpasar-based artist Tintin Wulia is one of Australia’s most exciting contemporary artists. For SB11, Wulia is presenting her epic work “Terra Incognita, et cetera,” a mural, interactive performance, and installation that the artist describes as “an art exhibition opening party game where audience members can participate in cutting up a blank map of the world into bordered territories.”
Exhibiting at Sharjah for the first time in 2013 are the Philippines-born, Brisbane-based husband and wife team of Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan. Isabel and Alfredo have presented a work titled “The Mabini Project: 100 paintings” which they describe in an interview with the Sharjah Art Foundation as “an installation of 100 individually framed paintings derived from a large (12X14 feet) commissioned landscape tourist painting.”
Also exhibiting at Sharjah for the first time is Sydney and Paris-based video artist Angelica Mesiti who is represented by her much lauded four-channel video installation “Citizens Band,” 2012. The video consists of an ensemble of four films featuring performances by four different migrant musicians with unique musical talents such as throat singing and water drumming.
Lebanese-born, Sydney-based artist Khaled Sabsabi is renowned for his multi-channel moving image installations. For SB11 Sabsabi is exhibiting his multimedia installation “Naqshbandi Greenacre Engagement” which “provides a view into the communal gatherings of the Greenacre Order of Naqshbandi Sufis in Western Sydney, Australia,” according to the SB11 guidebook.
In “Re:emerge, Towards a New Cultural Cartography,” curator Yuko Hasegawa proposes a Biennial that reassesses the Westerncentrism of knowledge in modern times and reconsiders the relationship between the Arab world, Asia, the Far East, through North Africa and Latin America. The Sharjah Biennial 11 runs from 13 March - 13 May 2013.