11 Edition of Vantage Point Sharjah

Yashna Kaul, From ‘The Image World’, 2018–2022

The 11th edition of Vantage Point Sharjah (VPS), an annual photography exhibition hosted by the Sharjah Art Foundation, is set to return with a showcase challenging established conventions in photography. Running from October 14, 2023, to January 14, 2024, at Old Al Diwan Al Amiri in Al Hamriyah, Sharjah, this edition features four individual artists and a collective, all redefining the boundaries of photographic practices.

This year’s VPS places a spotlight on early-career photographers hailing from Africa and Asia, whether by birth, current residence, or diasporic connections. Selected through a global open call that received an impressive 350 applications, these artists represent a diverse array of approaches while sharing common threads. They explore contemporary image-making techniques, recontextualise existing or inherited images, and engage with the enduring visual legacies of colonialism.

Oumaima Abaraghe (born 1999, Casablanca) employs collage methods and digital manipulation to reconstruct Morocco’s fragmented colonial archive, exposing its inherent unreliability. Yashna Kaul (born 1995, Mumbai) delves into the mysteries within her family’s photo album, revealing how the framing of moments shapes personal narratives and collective memory. Mohamed Mahdy (born 1996, Giza) documents the displacement of El Maks, Alexandria’s fishing community, and captures the multi-generational impact of urban redevelopment policies through emotive storytelling. Questioning the ideals of nation-state imagery, Postbox Ghana (comprising Nana Ofosu Adjei, Courage Dzidula Kpodo, and Manuela Nebuloni) recontextualises popular postcard images of post-independence Ghana within the country’s modern urban landscape. Clea Rekhou (born 1988, Paris) juxtaposes soft-lit, intimate family portraits with narratives of generational violence, unveiling the complexity of human relationships.

Postbox Ghana, From ‘Muddy stories’, 2023

The works of these emerging artists will be presented in two distinct exhibition modes: individual showcases of the artists’ unique practices and a communal storytelling space that interweaves their collective work.

VPS 11 introduces a valuable addition in the form of a one-on-one professional mentoring program. Participating artists will be paired with cultural experts or industry professionals of their choice, providing them with an opportunity to refine their skills and benefit from a unique learning experience led by field experts.

Originally launched in 2013 to cultivate public engagement with photography as an artistic medium, VPS has evolved into a dynamic platform that welcomes a wide spectrum of photographic approaches. It encompasses various forms, from photojournalism and photo essays to experimental work in both analog and digital formats, ensuring a rich and diverse exploration of this captivating medium.

Mohamed Mahdy, From ‘Here, The Doors Don’t Know Me’, 2016–2023

About Sharjah Art Foundation

Sharjah Art Foundation, under the visionary leadership of founder Hoor Al Qasimi, serves as a catalyst for contemporary art in Sharjah and the surrounding region, fostering a dynamic dialogue with the global arts community. The Foundation champions an experimental program model that promotes contemporary art production and presentation, celebrates regional culture, and highlights the transformative power of art. Key initiatives include the renowned Sharjah Biennial, featuring global contemporary artists, the annual March Meeting uniting international arts professionals, artist grants, residencies, innovative commissions, and traveling exhibitions. Beyond the Biennial, the Foundation supports artists and cultural organisations across the Gulf, hosting year-round exhibitions, performances, and educational programs in historic venues. It is a vital cultural institution funded by various sources, offering free public access to its exhibitions.

Location: Old Al Diwan Al Amiri in Al Hamriyah, Sharjah

Dates: October 14, 2023, to January 14, 2024

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