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Sharjah Art Foundation’s March Meeting 2024: Exploring Collectives and Social Justice in Contemporary Art

Annual Gathering Focuses on Collaborative Art Practices and Their Role in Advancing Social Change

Sharjah Art Foundation has announced its upcoming programs for winter and spring 2024, featuring the annual March Meeting, major solo and group exhibitions, and a new season of performances.

March Meeting 2024: Reimagining Futures Through Collective Action

The highlight of the season is the March Meeting 2024 (MM 2024), taking place from March 1 to 3 at Calligraphy Square. This annual gathering brings together artists, curators, and art practitioners from around the world to discuss pressing issues in contemporary art.

This year’s edition focuses on collectives whose artistic practice is intertwined with community building. MM 2024 examines various forms of collaboration that advance social justice, exploring how art can be a catalyst for positive change.

Through talks, roundtable discussions, lectures, workshops, performances, and more, MM 2024 invites participants to reimagine more inclusive, equitable, sustainable, and livable futures. The event aims to foster dialogue and inspire new approaches to artistic and curatorial practice that contribute to social justice and solidarity.

Exhibitions and programmes

In the eyes of our present, we hear Palestine
December 23–April 14, 2024
Old Al Dhaid Clinic and Arts Palace

This special exhibition presents over 60 works from the Sharjah Art Foundation Collection, showcasing the creativity of artists who have dedicated their practice to informing and educating audiences on the history of the occupation, the current political situation and issues of human rights in Palestine. While bearing witness to forced displacement and devastating loss, the works also celebrate the rich identity and heritage of Palestine, invoking a spirit of solidarity. Spanning from the late 1950s to the present, the exhibition includes work by Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme, Simone Fattal, Mona Hatoum, Emily Jacir, Khalil Rabah and more.

Perform Sharjah
January 13–February 18, 2024
Various dates and venues

Sharjah Art Foundation’s performing arts programme returns for its second season, activating public spaces, heritage houses and theatres throughout Sharjah. The programme engages with the city’s urban fabric through a range of performative works, workshops and talks. This year’s edition of Perform Sharjah features eight performances by a dynamic lineup of artists from various disciplines, including Jalila Baccar, Tao Ye, Essia Jaïbi, Radouan Mriziga, Rayyane Tabet, Judit Böröcz, Bence György Pálinkás, Máté Szigeti and Mohit Takalkar. Perform Sharjah is curated by Tarek Abou El Fetouh, Director of Performance and Senior Curator at Sharjah Art Foundation.

Lala Rukh: In the Round
February 24–June 16, 2024
Gallery 1, 2 and 3, Al Mureijah Art Spaces 

The first major survey of the late artist, feminist organiser and pedagogue Lala Rukh brings together more than 50 drawings, prints, photographs, videos and animation works from across her three-decade practice to create a singular exploration of her influential career. Interweaving mark making, musicality and deep listening, Lala Rukh: In the Round showcases the minimalist vocabulary of lines, symbols and blackness with which the artist captured the diverse rhythms of lunar movements, bodies of water, horizons, coastlines and archaeological sites against a backdrop of political turmoil and feminist movements in Pakistan and across South Asia.

The exhibition presents rarely seen early works and the artist’s final work Rupak (2016), first exhibited at documenta 14, as well as selected archival materials and interviews. In the Round is curated by Hoor Al Qasimi, Director of Sharjah Art Foundation, and Natasha Ginwala, co-curator of Sharjah Biennial 16 and Artistic Director of COLOMBOSCOPE. 

Henok Melkamzer: Telsem Symbols and Imagery
February 24–June 16, 2024 
Sharjah Art Museum 

With more than 100 works, many on view for the first time, this exhibition is the largest solo presentation by telsem artist Henok Melkamzer, offering audiences a rare look at this distinctive Ethiopian art form. Traditionally termed a healing or talisman art, telsem is actually a sophisticated visual art form that incorporates philosophy and intricate themes into various symbols, drawings and texts imbued with deeper meanings.

Combining ancient inspirations with modern idioms, Henok’s canvas works reconstruct the conventions of this traditional art form and broaden the understanding of ‘modern’ art. Organised in collaboration with The Africa Institute, Sharjah, and Sharjah Museums Authority, the exhibition is curated by Elizabeth Giorgis, Associate Professor of Art History, Theory and Criticism, The Africa Institute.

Casablanca Art School: Platforms and Patterns for a Postcolonial Avant-Garde 1962–1987 
February 24–June 16, 2024
Al Hamriyah Studios and Old Al Diwan Al Amiri
Following its acclaimed showing at Tate St Ives, Sharjah Art Foundation presents the first major museum exhibition of works of the Casablanca Art School, whose revolutionary approach following Morocco’s independence in 1956 proposed a bold new visual culture. This landmark exhibition looks back at key moments in the development of the School by bringing together a wide range of works by more than 20 artists, from abstract paintings and graphic art to craftwork and ceramics, as well as a careful selection of rarely seen archival material.    

Co-organised by Sharjah Art Foundation and Tate St Ives in collaboration with Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, the exhibition is curated by Morad Montazami and Madeleine de Colnet for Zamân Books & Curating with Hoor Al Qasimi, Director of Sharjah Art Foundation, and with associate researchers Fatima-Zahra Lakrissa and Maud Houssais. The exhibition is also part of a key moment of international research into the Casablanca Art School, initiated in 2020 by KW Institute for Contemporary Art and Sharjah Art Foundation, in partnership with Goethe-Institut Marokko, ThinkArt and Zamân Books & Curating.

Drawing Time: Duets
May 4–August 4, 2024
Gallery 4, Al Mureijah Art Spaces 

The first instalment of a four-part series, this exhibition spotlights new and historical works from the Sharjah Art Foundation Collection that present the range and possibilities of drawing as a practice. In this evolving exhibition and research project, drawing and print culture are examined in relation to contemporary artistic practices that are deeply rooted in centuries of Afro-Asian history. The first chapter of Drawing Time: Duets delves into the concept of the double, the pair, the rejoinder. The exhibition is curated by Dr Omar Kholeif, Director of Collections and Senior Curator at Sharjah Art Foundation. 

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