7 April 2013
On Saturday the 30th of March 2013, we went to the Sharjah Biennial, which was an amazing experience seeing this was my first biennial to ever visit. One of the elements that I really liked about it, is that the exhibitions were within a walking distance from each other. Walking around the biennial’s different exhibits and works, I got to experience the community of Sharjah, with the little shops scattered around, and the communal cafes and restaurants around the area.
There were some extraordinary art work; one of my favorites ones was Terra Incognita, et cetera by Tintin Wulia, 2009. It aims to invites the visitors and viewers to participate to create shapes of their own, name it, get it approved by the artist and attach it on a huge scale canvas. The process eventually creates art that is by the people. It engages with the audience smartly and invites a curiosity to explore more.
Another piece of art that made me stand in front of it for about ten minutes is The Story Convertor by Nasir Nasrallah, 2012; also another work that involves the audience themselves.
The experience involves putting your hand in a box and writing or drawing whatever you want. The artist then takes what you produced and draws it on a huge white canvas. In this artwork, you see and experience different stories about this country; messages of love, nostalgia, and other intimate thoughts rarely shared publically.
What made this work stand out for me is that the people knowing that their identity was hidden, shared their secrets with thousands of people. And as member of the audience myself, I did not know the people participating in the work, but I felt for them. mixture of feelings overwhelmed me as I stood infront of the artwork examining the feelings shared.
Overall, the biennial was an astonishing experience filled with some unique works of art. I am Looking forward to visit the next one in 2015.