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  • Nov 04, 2019

Sharjah Biennial To Stage Okwui Enwezor’s Final Exhibition In 2021

Portrait of the late Okwui Enwezor. Photo by

In March 2021, Sharjah Biennial 15 (SB15) will present the final exhibition that Okwui Enwezor had been working on until his death in March, at the age of 55. 

According to the Sharjah Art Foundation (SAF), Enwezor had been planning the Biennial’s upcoming edition, “Thinking Historically in the Present,” since the first quarter of 2018. The exhibition will look back at the history of the Sharjah-based festival, while considering “the future of the biennial model.” Additionally, the New York Times reports that SB15 will include a presentation titled “Postcolonial,” a sequel to Enwezor’s landmark exhibition “Postwar: Art Between the Pacific and Atlantic, 1945–1965” (2016–17) at Munich’s Haus der Kunst. “Postcolonial” will be the second in a planned trilogy that Enwezor had hoped to realize during his tenure as artistic director of Haus der Kunst from 2011 to 2018. The project was originally stymied amid the controversy surrounding the museum’s alleged financial mismanagement, and the curator’s own battle with cancer. 

Per the late curator’s wishes, SB15 will be led by SAF director Hoor Al Qasimi, with a curatorial team staffed by Enwezor’s past collaborators, including independent curator Tarek Abou El-Fetouh; NTU CCA Singapore’s director Ute Meta Bauer; and art historians Salah M. Hassan and Chika Okeke-Agulu.

SB15 will open in March 2021.

Ophelia Lai is ArtAsiaPacific’s associate editor.

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