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Zoe Butt, Omar Kholeif, and Claire Tancons to Curate 2019 Sharjah Biennial

The Sharjah Art Foundation announced today that it has appointed Zoe Butt, Omar Kholeif, and Claire Tancons as curators of the Fourteenth Sharjah Biennial, opening in March 2019. Titled “Leaving the Echo Chamber,” the exhibition will ask participating artists to question the possibilities for producing art when material culture is under threat from forces such as human destruction and climate change. Each curator will organize separate exhibitions that will address today’s “echo chamber” of information and history.

“Contemporary life is dominated by competing information and fluctuating histories—a reality that raises important questions about the trajectory of contemporary art, as well as the conditions in which it is made,” said Hoor Al Qasimi, president and director of the Sharjah Art Foundation. “Butt, Kholeif, and Tancons bring incredibly different perspectives to these questions, and together represent the complexity of challenges faced by today’s artists and society as a whole. The aim of the Biennial is to deepen the context of these questions through thought-provoking and often experiential works of art.”

Butt, the artistic director of the Factory Contemporary Arts Center in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, will curate “Journey Beyond the Arrow,” which will explore the movement of humanity and the tools that have enabled, and hindered, its survival. Kholeif, the senior curator and director of global initiatives at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, will curate “Making New Time,” which will examine time as a unit of singular and collective experience. Tancons, the curator of the Origins Season of the National Sawdust in New York, 2017–18, will curate “Look for Me All Around You,” which challenges structures of looking, learning, and feeling, and grapples with conditions of dispossession, diaspora, and fugitivity.