Sharjah Art Foundation has awarded its biannual Production Programme grants to 10 artists selected from an international open call. In this 7th cycle of the Production Programme, a total of $200,000 will be distributed to provide core funding and professional support for the realization of the selected grantees’ proposed projects. The 2020 grantees are Jumana Emil Abboud, Mohamed Abdelkarim, Noor Abuarafeh, Basma al-Sharif, Abdessamad El Montassir, Ko?ken Ergun, Pak Khawateen Painting Club, Moad Musbahi, Philip Rizk and Subversive Film.
As one of Sharjah Art Foundation’s core initiatives, the Production Programme aims to broaden the possibilities for the production of art in the MENASA region through the support of innovation and excellence in artistic practice and the encouragement of risk-taking and experimentation. Through the biannual Production Programme open call, art practitioners are invited to propose imaginative, ambitious and inspirational projects that will expand our understanding of what art is and how it can be experienced.
The 2020 grantees were selected by an international jury composed of Iftikhar Dadi, Lara Khaldi and Agustín Pérez Rubio. While originally tasked with selecting two to six proposals from a group of short-listed applicants from the open call, the Foundation and the 2020 jury expanded the number of grantees to 10 this past March, in response to the economic hardships faced by artists and funding bodies due to the global pandemic.
Past Production Programme grant cycles have made significant contributions to the rise in artistic activity throughout the region and beyond, enabling artists to realise ambitious projects of a scale and complexity that would have been challenging to achieve without this support. Many of the resulting projects have been presented by organizations around the world, contributing to increased visibility and awareness of the grantees’ practices. Examples include 2010 grantees CAMP and Bani Abidi whose projects premiered at documenta (13); 2012 grantee Sean Gullette whose film Traitors premiered at the 2013 Venice Film Festival; Lindsay Seers’ Nowhere Less Now presented in London by Artangel and now part of the Artangel Collection at Tate; 2014 grantee Jumana Manna’s film A Magical Substance Flows into Me premiered as part of her solo exhibition at London’s Chisenhale Gallery in 2015; 2016 grantee Khaled Sabsabi’s Bring the Silence, included in the 21st Biennale of Sydney; and 2018 grantee Mounira Al Solh whose work Freedom is a Habit I am Trying to Learn was avant-premiered at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven in 2019.
Originally launched alongside Sharjah Biennial 9 in 2009, the Production Programme grants are among a growing number of year-round opportunities and programs offered by Sharjah Art Foundation to support artists and art practitioners in the production and development of new creative work, including curatorial residencies and grants for the creation of short films and publishing projects. The Production Programme grants have been offered biannually since 2010, following the first cycle in 2009 that received over 500 submissions, from which 28 projects were selected for production and presentation in the Biennial.