PCAI partnered with the Lahore Biennale Foundation, curator Hoor Al Qasimi and artists Almagul Menlibayeva, Inna Artemova and German Popov on its second edition. The organisation supported the artists’ new work “Ulugh Beg: Intrinsic Futuristic Machine of Central Asia” (2020), a site specific multimedia installation presented in PIA Planetariumcommissioned by LB02.
Comprising of a ten screen video with quadrophonic sound and 360-degree drawing installations, this satellite formation presented the collaboration of three artists and their reflection upon the life of the Astronomer, the Great Ruler of Samarkand Sultan Mirzo Ulugh Begh. His legacy includes a 15th Century observatory that is represented by an artistic video and photo monitoring from the heights of conceptual orbits and depths of the Utopian/Dystopian skylines, fictional architecture and landscapes. The scattered episodes and non-linear chronologies, juxtaposed with medieval empiricism and the latest cosmological models, were constructed into “alternative realities” and turned into radiant rays of multi-sensorial documents and imaginary objects, pixelated by Space debris and the Industrial pollutions of modernity. Accompanied by a real time performance with electro-acoustic and musical experiments that touched upon the rare subjects of musical intervals, with xenharmonic scales, this project is reestablishing the longstanding cultural ties of ancient Maveranahr with the Mogul Empire.
Duration: January 26 – February 29, 2020
More about LAHORE BIENNALE 02
LB02 presented new commissions, large-scale installations, and discursive programming that took place at various venues in the city of Lahore. The inaugural Lahore Biennale was invested in situating itself in the region’s critical discourse on contemporary art and saw the participation of artists and academics from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India. For the second edition of the Lahore Biennale, the Foundation was interested in extending its regional scope towards West Asia and the Middle East. Under Al Qasimi’s leadership, the Sharjah Art Foundation and its core initiative, the Sharjah Biennial have both developed as major platforms for the promotion of contemporary art from the region, and internationally. She has been pivotal in providing platforms for artists from Pakistan and South Asia through grants and commissions provided by the wide ranging initiatives of the Sharjah Art Foundation. Al Qasimi’s selection as curator for LB02 signals a further strengthening of the relationship between the two regions and their respective artistic communities. The Lahore Biennale Foundation also recognized alignment between its public arts mandate and the mission of the Sharjah Biennial established in 1993 and the Sharjah Art Foundation that has operated as a catalyst and a producer of contemporary arts since 2009. In addition to her significant contribution to the development of art infrastructures in the MENASA region, Al Qasimi’s experience in the curation of major exhibitions and surveys of Middle Eastern, African and global art is noteworthy.
At the occasion of Al Qasimi’s appointment, Chairman of the Board of the Lahore Biennale Foundation, Osman Khalid Waheed stated, “LBF is delighted to have Hoor Al Qasimi as its curator for the second edition of the Lahore Biennale (LB02). Apart from her deep knowledge and extensive curatorial experience, Al Qasimi brought a very special energy to her projects. As the driving force behind the Sharjah Art Foundation and the Sharjah Biennial, Al Qasimi has explored and demonstrated the power of art to transform narratives and transcend borders. Her work is an inspiration for the Lahore Biennale Foundation, and we hope that her involvement will further propel LBF in establishing Lahore as an international platform for some of the most exciting contemporary art in the region.”
More about HOOR AL QASIMI
Hoor Al Qasimi, President and Director of Sharjah Art Foundation, is a curator and practising artist who received her BFA from the Slade School of Fine Art, London (2002), a Diploma in Painting from the Royal Academy of Arts, London (2005) and an MA in Curating Contemporary Art from the Royal College of Art, London (2008). In 2002, she was appointed curator of Sharjah Biennial 6 and has since continued as the Biennial Director. Al Qasimi is President of the Africa Institute, Sharjah and President of the International Biennial Association. She serves on the Board of Directors for MoMA PS1, New York; KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; Ashkal Alwan, Beirut and Sharjah Architecture Triennial, Sharjah. She is Chair of the Advisory Board for the College of Art and Design, University of Sharjah and member of the Advisory Board for Khoj International Artists’ Association, New Delhi and Darat Al Funun, Amman.
She is currently a member of the Prince Claus Award Committee (2016–current) and is a member of the jury for the 5th edition of PinchukArtCentre’s Future Generation Art Prize (2018). Al Qasimi has served on the juries and prize panels for the Bonnefanten Award for Contemporary Art (2018), Maria Lassnig Prize (2017), Mediacity Seoul Prize (2016), Hepworth Wakefield Prize for Sculpture (2016), Berlin International Film Festival – Berlinale Shorts (2016), Videobrasil (2015), Dubai International Film Festival (2014) and Benesse Prize (2013). Recent curatorial projects include major retrospectives Hassan Sharif: I Am The Single Work Artist (2017–2018), Yayoi Kusama: Dot Obsessions (2016–2017), Robert Breer: Time Flies (2016–2017), Simone Fattal (2016) and Farideh Lashai (2016) as well as 1980–Today: Exhibitions in the United Arab Emirates, UAE Pavilion, 56th Venice Biennale (2015); Rasheed Araeen: Before and After Minimalism (2014) and Susan Hefuna: Another Place (2014). Al Qasimi was co-curator for Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige: Two Suns in a Sunset (2016), exhibited not only in Sharjah but also at Jeu de Paume, Paris; Haus der Kunst, Munich and IVAM, Valencia. She co-curated the major survey shows 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).
More about ALMAGUL MENLIBAYEVA
Almagul Menlibayeva (born 1969 in Almaty, Kazakhstan) is an award-winning contemporary artist who works mostly in multi-channel video, photography and mixed media installation. She lives and works in Germany and Kazakhstan. Her work has been featured internationally at the Sydney Biennale, Australia; the Venice Biennale; the Moscow Biennale, Russia; the Gangwon International Biennale, South Korea. Her recent solo exhibitions include Green, Yellow, Red, and Green again, TSE gallery, Astana, Kazakhstan (2018); Transformation, Grand Palais, Paris, France (2016-2017); My Silk Road to You, Lexing Art, Miami, USA (2016); Union of the Fire and Water, curator Suad Garaeva, 56th Venice Biennial, Venice, Italy (2015); Transoxiana Dreams, Videozone, Ludwig Forum, Aachen, Germany (2014); Empire of the Memory, Ethnographic Museum, Warsaw, Polland (2013); An Odd for the Wastelands and Gulags, Kunstraum Innsbruck, Austria (2013). EXPO 1 Exploration of ecological challenges, MoMA PS1, NewYork, USA ; Her video installations and photography have been exhibited widely at venues such as Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, M HKA, Antwerp, Belgium; Queens Museum, NY, USA; Herbert F. Johnson Museum, Ithaca, NY, USA; Stenersen Museum, Oslo, Norway; ZKM Museum of Contemporary Art, Karlsruhe, Germany; University of California, San Diego, CA, USA; Center of Contemporary Art, Zamok Ujazdowskie, Warsaw, Poland; Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki, Finland; Museo Universitario del Chopo, Mexico City, Mexico; Kulturzentrum bei den Minoriten, Graz, Austria; Queensland Art Gallery, Bisbane, Australia.
Menlibayeva’s work addresses issues such as critical explorations of Soviet modernity; social, economic; and political transformations in post-Soviet Central Asia; and decolonial reimaginings of gender, environmental degradation, and Eurasian nomadic and indigenous cosmologies and mythologies. A winner of the Main Prize of Munich’s Kino der Kunst International Film Festival (2013), Menlibayeva was awarded the French Ministry of Culture’s Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2017.