Monday, November 4, 2019

Sharjah Biennial 2021: PreSs Release

For Immediate Release
4 November 2019 

Sharjah Art Foundation Announces the Late Okwui Enwezor 
as Curator of Sharjah Biennial 15

Foundation Director Hoor Al Qasimi to Co-Curate Alongside Working Group Members Tarek Abou El Fetouh, Ute Meta Bauer, Salah M. Hassan and Chika Okeke-Agulu, with the Support of an Advisory Committee Including David Adjaye, John Akomfrah and Christine Tohmé

SB15 Opens March 2021 in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Sharjah Art Foundation (SAF) in Sharjah, UAE, today announced the renowned critic and curator Okwui Enwezor (1963–2019) as curator of the next Sharjah Biennial, opening in March 2021. Enwezor conceived the 15th edition of the Sharjah Biennial (SB15), entitled Thinking Historically in the Present, as a platform to reflect on the past fourteen editions of the Biennial and to consider the future of the biennial model. In accordance with Enwezor’s wishes, SB15 will be realized with the support of Sharjah Art Foundation Director Hoor Al Qasimi as co-curator alongside a working group of Enwezor’s longtime collaborators: curator Tarek Abou El Fetouh; professor and Founding Director of NTU CCA Singapore Ute Meta Bauer; art historian and Cornell University professor Salah M. Hassan; and art historian and Princeton University professor Chika Okeke-Agulu. Al Qasimi and the SB15 Working Group will oversee the development and implementation of Okwui's curatorial concept in collaboration with an advisory committee composed of architect Sir David Adjaye, artist John Akomfrah and Ashkal Alwan Director Christine Tohmé, who will provide additional consultation on the Biennial.  

In his written plans for SB15, which he began developing in spring 2018, Enwezor envisioned the “Sharjah Biennial as a module with which to deal with the disruptive power of artistic monolingualism but also as horizon of the possible to conceive another theoretical space for ‘Thinking Historically in the Present.’”

“It is difficult to overstate the tremendous impact Okwui Enwezor had on contemporary art and its institutions. His visionary work internationalized art world paradigms and laid out an ambitious intellectual project that has shaped the development of so many initiatives and institutions, including the Sharjah Biennial and Sharjah Art Foundation. On a personal level, Okwui’s documenta was deeply influential to my own understanding of the urgent need to create a platform for art and ideas in this region of the world,” said Al Qasimi. “It was an enormous privilege to have been able to call Okwui a colleague and a friend. Together with his close collaborators who have joined the SB15 Working Group and Advisory Committee, we are honored to bring Okwui’s vision for the Biennial to fruition in Sharjah. Our hope is that SB15 will serve as a platform to further explore and expand on his curatorial and intellectual legacy.”

Continuing the Sharjah Biennial’s support for artists from the MENASA region and beyond with an internationally recognized platform for exhibition and experimentation, SB15 will bring together a range of works by contemporary artists, including major commissions, large-scale public installations, performances and films. On view in Sharjah Art Foundation buildings and public spaces across the city’s arts and heritage areas as well as other spaces across the emirate of Sharjah, SB15 will explore the impact of the last fourteen editions of the Sharjah Biennial and the future of the biennial model around the world. 

The 2020 edition of Sharjah Art Foundation’s annual March Meeting, a three-day program convening artists, curators and arts practitioners from around the world to discuss vital issues in contemporary art, will inaugurate SB15. Organized around the title and theme of SB15, Thinking Historically in the Present, MM 2020 will focus on the 30th anniversary of the Sharjah Biennial, bringing together former Sharjah Biennial curators, artistic directors and artists as well art historians and critics to examine the role of the Biennial in the region and in the global contemporary art scene. Details about the MM 2020 program, running from 21 to 23 March 2020, will be available in late 2019. Further information about the SB15 concept, artists and projects will be announced in the coming months.  

SB15 Working Group member Salah M. Hassan remarked, “Okwui always believed in the Sharjah Biennial as a model for displacing older, Western-based biennials by offering a cutting edge and globally relevant alternative.” Hence, this upcoming edition of the SB15, according to Hassan, “represents Okwui’s insistence on the art exhibition as a platform for engaging with history, politics and society and how these shape our global present.”  

Sharjah Art Foundation’s announcement of Sharjah Biennial 15 follows Okwui Enwezor’s bequest of his papers and library to Sharjah’s Africa Institute, of which Al Qasimi is also President and Salah M. Hassan is Director. SB15 Advisory Board member Sir David Adjaye has been commissioned to design the campus of this interdisciplinary academic research institute and think tank, slated for completion in 2023. 


About Okwui Enwezor

Okwui Enwezor (1963, Calabar, Nigeria–2019, Munich) was a curator, critic and art historian. Enwezor’s curatorial projects alternated between ambitious international exhibitions that sought to define their moment and historically driven, encyclopedic museum shows. His major projects include the Venice Biennale (2015), Paris Triennale (2012), Gwangju Biennale (2008), Seville Biennial (2006) and documenta 11 (1998–2002), and he served as Artistic Director of the Second Johannesburg Biennale (1997). Enwezor’s groundbreaking museum exhibitions include Postwar: Art Between the Pacific and the Atlantic, 1945–1965, Haus der Kunst, Munich (2016); Rise and Fall of Apartheid: Photography and the Bureaucracy of Everyday Life, International Center of Photography, New York (2012); Archive Fever: Uses of the Document in Contemporary Art, International Center of Photography, New York (2008); Snap Judgments: New Positions in Contemporary African Photography, International Center of Photography, New York (2006); The Short Century: Independence and Liberation Movements in Africa, 1945–1994, Museum Villa Stuck, Munich (2001); and In/Sight: African Photographers, 1940–Present, Guggenheim Museum, New York  (1996). 

Enwezor served as Director, Haus der Kunst, Munich (2011–2018) and Dean of Academic Affairs and Senior Vice-President, San Francisco Art Institute (2005–2009). He was Global Distinguished Professor in the Department of Art History, New York University (2013) and Kirk Varnedoe Visiting Professor at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University (2012). Among his publications are Postwar: Art between the Pacific and the Atlantic, 1945–1965 (Prestel Publishing, 2017), which he co-edited; Rise and Fall of Apartheid: Photography and the Bureaucracy of Everyday Life (Prestel Publishing, 2013); Contemporary African Art Since 1980 (Damiani, 2010); Antinomies of Art and Culture: Modernity, Postmodernity, Contemporaneity (Duke University Press, 2009); and Reading the Contemporary: African Art from Theory to the Market (Iniva, 1999). In 1994, he co-founded NKA: Journal of Contemporary African Art.


About Hoor Al Qasimi 

Hoor Al Qasimi is President and Director of Sharjah Art Foundation. Her recent curatorial projects include solo exhibitions of the works of Amal Kenawy (2018), Hassan Sharif (2017), Yayoi Kusama (2016), Robert Breer (2016), Farideh Lashai (2016), Rasheed Araeen (2014) and Susan Hefuna (2014). She was co-curator for Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige: Two Suns in a Sunset (2016) and major surveys such as When Art Becomes Liberty: The Egyptian Surrealists (1938 –1965) (2016) and The Khartoum School: The Making of the Modern Art Movement in Sudan (1945–Present) (2016–2017). Co-curator of Sharjah Biennial 6 (2003), she has since continued as Biennial Director. She curated the UAE National Pavilion, Venice Biennale (2015) and will also serve as the curator of the second Lahore Biennale, opening in 2020.

President of the International Biennial Association; Chair of the Advisory Board, College of Fine Arts and Design, University of Sharjah; and President of The Africa Institute, Sharjah; Al Qasimi serves on the Board of Directors for MoMA PS1, New York; Kunst-Werke Berlin e. V.; Ashkal Alwan, Beirut; and the Sharjah Architecture Triennial as well as the advisory boards for Khoj, New Delhi and Darat al Funun, Amman. She is also a member of the Prince Claus Award Committee (2016–present).

About the SB15 Working Group

Tarek Abou El Fetouh is an independent curator who has established innovative initiatives in the Arab world and sought to develop conversations among practitioners both regionally and internationally. 

Ute Meta Bauer is a curator, editor (Afterall magazine), Founding Director of the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore and a professor at the School of Art, Design and Media at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. 

Salah M. Hassan is Director of The Africa Institute, Sharjah, UAE, and Goldwin Smith Professor in the Africana Studies and Research Center and the Department of the History of Art and Visual Studies, Cornell University, Ithaca, US. He is an art historian, art critic, curator and founding editor of Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art.

Chika Okeke-Agulu specializes in indigenous, modern and contemporary African and African Diaspora art history and theory. He is a professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University. He is co-editor of Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art and maintains the blog Ọfọdunka.


About the SB15 Advisory Committee

Sir David Adjaye OBE is recognized as a leading architect of his generation. In 2000, he formed his studio, Adjaye Associates, with offices in London, New York and Accra and projects spanning North America, Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. His largest project to date, the $540 million Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, opened on the National Mall in Washington, DC in autumn 2016.
 
John Akomfrah is a respected artist and filmmaker whose works are characterized by their investigations into memory, post-colonialism, temporality and aesthetics and often explore the experiences of migrant diasporas globally. 

Christine Tohmé is the Founding Director of Ashkal Alwan, a non-profit organization established in 1993 in Beirut that aims to support contemporary artistic and cultural practices through its numerous initiatives. She curated Sharjah Biennial 13: Tamawuj in 2017. 


About Sharjah Art Foundation

Sharjah Art Foundation is an advocate, catalyst and producer of contemporary art within the Emirate of Sharjah and the surrounding region, in dialogue with the international arts community. Under the leadership of founder Hoor Al Qasimi, a curator and artist, the foundation advances an experimental and wide-ranging programmatic model that supports the production and presentation of contemporary art, preserves and celebrates the distinct culture of the region and encourages a shared understanding of the transformational role of art. The foundation’s core initiatives include the long-running Sharjah Biennial, featuring contemporary artists from around the world; the annual March Meeting, a convening of international arts professionals and artists; grants and residencies for artists, curators and cultural producers; ambitious and experimental commissions; and a range of travelling exhibitions and scholarly publications. Established in 2009 to expand programmes beyond the Sharjah Biennial, which launched in 1993, the foundation is a critical resource for artists and cultural organisations in the Gulf and a conduit for local, regional and international developments in contemporary art. The foundation’s deep commitment to developing and sustaining the cultural life and heritage of Sharjah is reflected through year-round exhibitions, performances, screenings and educational programmes in the city of Sharjah and across the Emirate, often hosted in historic buildings that have been repurposed as cultural and community centres. A growing collection reflects the foundation’s support of contemporary artists in the realisation of new work and its recognition of the contributions made by pioneering modern artists from the region and around the world. Sharjah Art Foundation is a legally independent public body established by Emiri Decree and supported by government funding, grants from national and international nonprofits and cultural organisations, corporate sponsors and individual patrons. All exhibitions and events are free and open to the public.


About Sharjah

Sharjah is the third-largest of the seven United Arab Emirates, and the only one bridging the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. Reflecting the deep commitment to the arts, architectural preservation and cultural education embraced by its ruler, Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Sharjah is home to more than 20 museums and has long been known as the cultural hub of the United Arab Emirates. In 1998, it was named UNESCO's 'Arab Capital of Culture' and has been designated the UNESCO ‘World Book Capital’ for the year 2019.


Media Contacts

Sharjah Art Foundation:
Alyazeyah Al Reyaysa
+971(0)65444113
alyazeyah@sharjahart.org 

Resnicow and Associates:
Sarah Morris, smorris@rensicow.com, +1-212-671-5165
Delaney Smith, dsmith@resnicow.com, +1-212-671-5160
Maria May, mmay@resnicow.com, +1-214-207-6082 



Sunday, November 3, 2019

Okwui Enwezor, Curator of 15th Sharjah Biennial (2021)

Okwui Enwezor. Photo: Chika Okeke-Agulu



Okwui Enwezor is the posthumous curator of 15th Sharjah Biennial (2021), The New York Times has just announced.
READ THE STORY 

"Into the Night: Clubs and Cabarets in Modern Art @ Barbican, London

For an artist who teaches art history, writes art criticism and organizes exhibitions, you are right to think that I would be perpetually traipsing the art world looking for the latest new thing. Well, I don't. It is not my thing. No apologies. Which is to say that, because a lot of art bores me, I only get to see art exhibitions once in a while--never mind that New York is just down the road. When I do get to see shows, in Museums or galleries, I expect the trip to last just a short while. On the rare occasion, I find myself detained by an exhibit, and loving it!



Mbari Club Gallery

That's what happened in London last week. I went to see Into the Night: Cabarets and Clubs in Modern Art currently showing at Barbican Centre. I knew about plans for this exhibition (as I was, for full disclosure, commissioned to contribute an essay for the catalogue), but to see the idea manifest as a display in the Brutalist space of the Barbican was an awesome experience. It is one thing to read all the art history stuff about this or that modernist genius the singularity of whose creative imagination was all that mattered. But, what about the immediate physical and social spaces that, if not enabled, at least helped the art and artists thrive--even if for a very short while? This Barbican show answered this question with so much poise, sensitivity, and intelligence. 


It is not just that the exhibition is designed to a scale that is once intimate and appropriate, it deploys multiple media, crosses at will the boundaries of art and craft, and gives as much attention to objects as it does to their exhibitionary spaces and discursive contexts. And most importantly, it tells the story of the modern that sidesteps the usual Europe-US axis and demonstrates in a very compelling way the global dimensions of the modernism--as it emerged from the ideas and practices of avant-garde groups confronting modernity's political, cultural, social and epistemic ruptures.



It is a thrill to see manifestations of clubs and cabarets organized around art and design (enlivened and propelled by music, theatre, literature) in the heydays of modernism in Paris, Vienna, Berlin, Strasbourg, Rome, London, Mexico City, Lagos, Tehran from the late 19th to the mid-20th century. It is even more so, because none of these sites and the creative productions associated with them seem out of place or qualitatively distinctive as to merit more or less attention or to deserve an especial place in history. 


The Barbican and its curators (and their partners at the Belvedere, Vienna) show everything good about revisionist histories; they make us utterly aware of how small the view of the world presented in those histories. When they place in adjacent galleries Le Chat Noir (Paris, 1880s), Cabaret Fledermaus (Vienna, 1907), Cave of the Golden Calf (London, 1912), Cabaret Voltaire (Zurich, 1916), Bal Tic Tac (Rome, 1921), L'Aubette (Strasbourg, 1926-28), Mbari Club (Ibadan, 1960s), Rasht 29 (Tehran, 1966) they invite us to an expanded vista of modernist creativity across the 20th century. And when a single exhibition makes imaginative connections between artists such as Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, Oska Kokoschka, Gertrude Barrison, Wyndham Lewis, Hugo Ball, Giacomo Balla, Aaron Douglas, Ramon Alva de Canal, German Cueto, Jacob Lawrence, Ibrahim El Salahi, Uche Okeke, Colette Omogbai, Theo van Doesburg, Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Jeanne Mammen, Langston Hughes, Duro Ladipo, Parvis Tanavoli, Faramarz Pilaram etc., you want to spend more time taking it all in, sure that the experience will change your understanding of the modern. 
So, I went to see this show with two friends, El Anatsui and Elisabeth Lalouschek. They were both captivated by the exhibits, which included 1:1 scale reconstructions of some of these really fascinating cabaret and club environments. But I was the one who made us nearly spend our dinner time at Barbican.  

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

List of Unaccredited courses in Nigerian Universities

The Nigerian Universities Commission--the country's regulatory agency--recently published the list of unaccredited courses offered in Nigerian universities. For parents out there, make sure your child is not in any of these programs, as any certificate from them are not recognized and thus more or less useless. Here below is the list:

1. University of Nigeria, Nsukka
Russian
Dentistry
Statistics

2. University of Benin
Anatomy
Pharmacy

3. University of Calabar
Business Management
Theatre and Media
Arts
Public Health

4. University of Jos
History and International Relations
Medical Laboratory Science
Biochemistry
Science Laboratory Technology

5. Federal University of Technology, Owerri
Architecture
Microbiology

6. Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola
Banking

7. Federal University of Technology, Minna
Biology Education
Chemistry Education
Geography Education
Industrial and Technical Education
Mathematics Education
Physics Education

8. University of Abuja
Accounting
English Language
Linguistics
Philosophy
Agricultural Education
Biology Education
Chemistry Education
Economics Education
Education (Social Science)
Geography Education
Integrated Science
Mathematics Education
Law
Chemistry
Microbiology

9. Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi
Automobile Education
Building
Technology Education
Business Education
Electrical Electronics Technology Education
Integrated Science
Architecture
Building Industrial
Design Survey & Geo-informatics
Applied Geophysics
Engineering Physics
Physics Electronics

10. University of Uyo 
Efik/Ibibio

11. Nnamdi Azikiwe University
Nursing Science
Industrial/Production Engineering
Mechanical Engineering

12. University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun
Chemistry Environmental Management & Toxicology
Geology
Geophysics
Mathematics

13. Federal University, Wukari
English/Literary Studies

14. Rivers State University of Science & Technology
Quantity Surveying
15. Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma
Material & Production Engineering
Architecture
Building
Biochemistry
Botany
Microbiology
Political Science

16. Abia State University
English Language Education
French Education
Igbo Education
History Education
Religious Studies Education
Education (Library Studies/Igbo/English/Social Studies/Government)
Biology Education
Chemistry Education
Economics Education
Geography Education
Guidance & Counselling
Mass Communication

17. Enugu State University of Science & Technology
Library & Information Science

18. Olabisi Onabanjo University
Christian Religious Studies Education
History Education
Islamic Studies Education
Electrical Electronics Engineering

19. Ekiti State University African
Traditional Religion
Religious Studies
Civil Engineering

20. Lagos State University
English Language
French
Philosophy
Yoruba

21. Imo State University
English & Literary Studies
French
Theatre Arts
Medical Laboratory Science
Nursing Law

22. Delta State University
Accounting & Finance
Chemical Engineering
Civil Engineering Electrical & Electronic Engineering
Mechanical & Metallurgical Engineering
Petroleum Engineering Law

23. Kogi State University
Medicine & Surgery

24. Niger Delta University
Adult & Community Education
Economics Education
Geography Education
Marketing Education
Political Science Education
Religious Studies Education
Social Studies
Botany
Computer Science
Mathematics
Pure & Applied Chemistry Zoology

25. Anambra State University
Early Childhood Education
Human Kinetics
Geology
Microbiology

26. Ebonyi State University
Building/Woodwork Education
Physics Education
Applied Biology
Applied Microbiology
Applied Statistics
Biotechnology
Geology
Industrial Mathematics

27. Nasarawa State University
English

28. Cross River University of Technology
Physiology
Wood Production
Engineering
Architecture

29. Kebbi State University of Science & Technology
Information Technology

30. Babcock University
French

31. Benson Idahosa University
Business Education

32. Ajayi Crowther University
Actuarial Science & Insurance

33. Caritas University
Bio-technology Microbiology

34. Kwararafa University, Wukari
Public Administration
computer Science
Statistics Economics
Mass Communication
Sociology

35. Novena University
Chemistry

36. Joseph Ayo Babalola University
Building
Quantity Surveying

37. Tansian University, Anambra
Architecture

For more on the story, check this link: