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Entrance of the Sharjah Art Museum with Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige’s Lebanese Rocket Society: Elements for a Monument, 2011, opening day of Sharjah Biennial 10, UAE, March 16, 2011.

Sharjah Biennial 10

Entrance of the Sharjah Art Museum with Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige’s Lebanese Rocket Society: Elements for a Monument, 2011, opening day of Sharjah Biennial 10, UAE, March 16, 2011.

IN RETROSPECT, the curators of the Tenth Sharjah Biennial were probably asking for trouble when they decided to create an exhibition about conspiracy, subversion, and betrayal in one of the purest autocracies on earth. Suzanne Cotter, Rasha Salti, and Haig Aivazian invited 119 artists, writers, musicians, and filmmakers to participate in “Plot for a Biennial,” which was conceived as a film treatment, divided into vignettes, and arranged around themes (corruption, devotion, insurrection) and characters (traitors, translators, and traducers). Most of the works were completed well before the Arab Spring, but many appeared incredibly prescient by the time the biennial opened on March 16. Even the revival of older works, such as Harun Farocki and Andrei Ujica’s commanding Videograms of a Revolution, 1992—an assemblage of video footage capturing the chaotic, euphoric collapse of

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