Many of the banks originally situated on Bank Street in Sharjah have left for more lucrative locations, so we have imagined a new, non-monetary banking model for the street.
What if we were to regard the sum total of memories and stories of the people in this area as the real capital of the street?
And what if this new currency could be invested in the new Bank Street and converted into physical objects?
The result might be a credit default swap in the form of a rusty metal dinosaur from a Portuguese suburb. Or a cashpoint that dispenses a ceramic pot of drinking water from a neighborhood in Islamabad. "The Bank" is an urban currency converter of such personal memories and stories, bringing great profit to Bank Street.
For establishing of "The Bank" people from the are around Bank Street has been asked to nominate specific city objects such as benches, bins, trees, playgrounds and signage from other countries that represents incredible stories and or vague memories. These objects were chosen from a country of the inhabitant’s national origin or from somewhere else encountered through traveling. The objects were either produced in a 1:1 copy or bought and transported to the site.
Commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation, the concept for The Bank is developed by SUPERFLEX and designed in collaboration with Schul landscape architects.
The Bank is commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation for SB11 and with great help of the biennial team. A big thanks goes to Sharmeen Syed.
The object installed through out the park:
Red Parasol and Chairs, Pakistan
Palm Hut, India
Climbing Dinosaur, Portugal
Rocking Chair, India
Bench Game, Philippines
Badminton Court, India
String of Lights, Egypt
Mushroom Light, Pakistan
Dome Light, Pakistan
Neon Lamppost, India
Clay Jar, Pakistan
Long Bench, USA
Concrete Bench, Pakistan
Wood Bench, Pakistan
Square Picnic Bench, Pakistan
Round Picnic Bench, Pakistan
Green Bench, India
Fountain, Damaskus, Syria
Bollard, Teheran, Iran
Excerpts from Sharjah Art Foundation:
Towards a New Cultural Cartography
In Re:emerge, Towards a New Cultural Cartography, curator Yuko Hasegawa proposes a Biennial that reassess the Westerncentrism of knowledge in modern times and reconsiders the relationship between the Arab world, Asia, the Far East, through North Africa and Latin America.
Hasegawa was inspired by the courtyard in Islamic architecture, in particular the historical courtyards of Sharjah, where elements of both public and private life intertwine, and where the objective political world and the introspective subjective space intersect and cross over.
The courtyard is also seen as a plane of experience and experimentation—an arena for learning and critical thinking of a discursive and embodied kind. It marks a generative space for the production of new awareness and knowledge. Within the network of intensifying international and globalising links, the courtyard as an experiential and experimental space comes to mirror something of Sharjah as a vital zone of creativity, transmission, and transformation.
For Sharjah Biennial 11, Hasegawa has selected more than 100 artists, architects, filmmakers, musicians and performers whose artworks and practices resonate with strands of the curatorial theme: the complexity and diversity of cultures and societies; spatial and political relations; notions of new forms of contact, dialogue, and exchange; and production through art and architectural practices of new ways of knowing, thinking, and feeling. With more than 35 new commissions, SB11 will unfold in sites across the city and will mark the inauguration of SAF’s five new art spaces.