Sharjah Biennial 15, Thinking Historically in the Present
Various venues, Sharjah, UAE, 7 February-11 June
Framed as the revered curator Okwui Enwezor’s final project, the 15th Sharjah Biennial was conceived before his death in 2019. “Okwui’s legacy of championing postcolonial perspectives, from his landmark Documenta 11 edition to his larger body of curatorial work, is unparalleled,” says Hoor Al Qasimi, the co-curator of the biennial and the director of the Sharjah Art Foundation. To mark the biennial’s 30-year anniversary, Enwezor proposed commissioning 30 works. More than 300 works—including almost 30 commissions by artists such as Mona Hatoum, Hassan Hajjaj, Doris Salcedo and Coco Fusco—will go on show across the emirate in 18 venues.
35th Bienal de São Paulo, Choreographies of the impossible
Ciccillo Matarazzo Pavilion, Brazil, 6 September-10 December
The Bienal de São Paulo, an important fixture in the biennial calendar, will be overseen by a curatorial collective comprising Manuel Borja-Villel, the director of the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid; the Berlin-based artist and writer Grada Kilomba; the independent curator Diane Lima and the anthropologist Hélio Menezes. At the time of writing, the curators were reluctant to reveal further details but did say that the title is “deployed by us to think about poetic and artistic practices that place movement and the human body at their centre”. Newly commissioned and existing works will be included.
Liverpool Biennial 2023, uMoya: the Sacred Return of Lost Things
Various venues, Liverpool, UK, 10 June-17 September
The curator of the 12th Liverpool Biennial, the artist Khanyisile Mbongwa, is looking to the “continued losses of the past”, drawing on difficult moments in history such as the “catastrophes caused by colonialism”. In the South African isiZulu language, “uMoya” means spirit, breath, air, climate and wind. “This biennial is about what the future might look like when investigated using Indigenous and ancient techniques and methods,” Mbongwa says. Artists include Torkwase Dyson and Antonio Obá.
Coachella Valley, California, US, 4 March-7 May
How do you organise a biennial in the Californian desert focused on water? Diana Campbell, the co-curator of the fourth edition of Desert X, examines how the barren landscape is formed by the “memory of water”, she says, linking it to her ongoing work in Bangladesh, a country already feeling the effects of climate change. “I am driven to draw translocal connections across contexts of extreme weather, from the droughts of the California desert to the floods of Bangladesh,” she adds in a statement.