“In the Heart of Another Country” at the Sharjah Art Foundation

The Sharjah Art Foundation presents the most comprehensive exhibition of works from its collection, titled “In the Heart of Another Country”. Following its debut at Deichtorhallen Hamburg in November 2022, the exhibition has been reimagined for its presentation in Sharjah, featuring new acquisitions and restored works. Spanning all six galleries in Al Mureijah Art Spaces, the exhibition showcases over 150 works by more than 60 artists from three generations. It explores themes of longing, belonging, and rootedness through art that engages with the mutable notion of home.

In the Heart of Another Country, 2022. Installation view: Deichtorhallen Hamburg. Image courtesy of Deichtorhallen Hamburg. Photo: Henning Rogge

For the past three decades, the Sharjah Biennial and Sharjah Art Foundation have provided a platform for artists from the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, offering perspectives often underrepresented in the global art canon. Through commissions, exhibitions, performances, and conversations, the foundation has built an archive of contemporary thought and form. This exhibition highlights key themes within the collection and brings together artists who explore concepts of longing, belonging, and rootedness.

The exhibition is organised into three thematic chapters, examining the evolving notion of home. Artists from diverse backgrounds who have traversed migratory routes across continents are showcased, presenting a reimagined vision of a once-colonised world. The exhibition encompasses various art forms, including painting, portraiture, architecture, and abstraction, from the twentieth century to the present. Recently restored installations are displayed alongside contemporary acquisitions, telling a communal story of kinship among artists, often developed in the face of political turmoil and social unrest.

In the Heart of Another Country, 2022. Installation view: Deichtorhallen Hamburg. Image courtesy of Deichtorhallen Hamburg. Photo: Henning Rogge
In the Heart of Another Country, 2022. Installation view: Deichtorhallen Hamburg. Image courtesy of Deichtorhallen Hamburg. Photo: Henning Rogge

Drawing inspiration from Etel Adnan’s memoir “In the Heart of the Heart of Another Country,” the exhibition explores sentiments of longing, memorial, and homecoming through a constellation of artworks. The exhibition features works by notable artists such as Saloua Raouda Choucair, Huguette Caland, Sonia Balassanian, Marcos Grigorian, Adam Henein, Rasheed Araeen, and Amal Kenawy. The artworks traverse borders, both real and imagined, and provoke reflections on nationalism, space, and refuge.

“In the Heart of Another Country” offers a sensory choreography that emphasises the affinity of belonging to a collective diasporic imagination. It presents home as a proposition—an ever-evolving site subject to interpretation and interrogation. Curated by Dr. Omar Kholeif, the exhibition is organised by Deichtorhallen Hamburg and the Sharjah Art Foundation.

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. 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.

Location: Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah, UAE

Date: July 15, to September 24, 2023



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