Sunday, May 01, 2005

Oasis of art in desert land - Deccan Herald
Seventh edition of the Sharjah Biennial
The biennial is aimed at developing Sharjah as a cultural hub in the Gulf’s otherwise soulless commercial landscape. In 1998, UNESCO named Sharjah the Gulf’s “cultural capital.”

The biennial is one of the arts and heritage initiatives being vigorously promoted by its ruler: Sheikh bin Mohammed al-Qasimi to strengthen that reputation. His daughter, Sheikha Hoor, who was an art student in London, heads the show. Its inaugural was a buzzing affair- with the Sheikh opening the show, attended by most of the 74 artists from 36 countries. Also present were a group of top foreign art historians and curators (including Okwui Enwezor of the last trail-blazing Documentary in Kassel, Germany).

If, in the opening week, the show attracted more members of the international media and art cognoscenti than of the local community, the fault certainly does not lie with the art on display.
Read the whole thing.

World of Art has excellent coverage of the 7th Sharjah biennial and will have more in the June 2005 edition of its online magazine Contemporary Art from the Islamic World.

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