Arab Museum of Modern Art unveiled four new exhibitions yesterday that resonates the heritage of the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia (MENASA) region.
H E Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Qatar Museums Chairperson, said in a statement: “For more than a decade, Mathaf has amplified the voices of artists who share cultural and historical connections with Qatar, and has inspired our local community by providing exposure to artists offering Arab perspectives.”
“This fall, Mathaf fulfils this mission through a diverse selection of exhibitions, whether Qatari-American artist Sophia Al Maria with her first show in the region, Taysir Batniji’s work centred on his time living in Palestine or works from alumni of the Fire Station’s Artist in Residence programme whose creations may be their first to appear in a museum, these exhibitions reinforce that there is no one Arab voice, perspective, or experience.”
“Rounding out the programme at Mathaf is our first exploration into an exciting new initiative, Rubaiyat Qatar, which will transform Qatar into a nationwide exhibition of contemporary Arab art every four years, debuting in 2024,” she said.
The four exhibitions are Sophia Al Maria: INVISIBLE LABORS daydream therapy; Taysir Batniji: No Condition is Permanent; One Tiger or Another, a research exhibition for a major new project, Rubaiyat Qatar; and Majaz: Contemporary Art Qatar, a group show featuring works from alumni of the Fire Station’s Artist in Residence programme.
The exhibitions are under the umbrella of Qatar Creates which is a year-round cultural movement and a platform for arts and culture in Qatar, and also part of the Qatar-MENASA Year of Culture 2022. Year of Culture is a rich and varied exchange programme, seeing Qatar partner with a different nation each calendar year to work together to enjoy, enhance and educate one another on each country’s creative, cultural and artistic offerings.
Three exhibits will run until January 21, 2023.
Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art Director, Zeina Arida described the exhibits as “very significant contemporary art exhibitions,” and that it “present the vibrant art scene that Qatar has been really developing more and more that it has to offer now.”
She noted that the works of Taysi Batniji and Sophia Al Maria are the first monographic exhibits of the artists in the region, and the other two – Majaz: Contemporary Art Qatar and One Tiger or Another are the result of collaborations between Mathaf, the Fire Station and Rubaiyat Qatar.
Sophia Al Maria: INVISIBLE LABORS daydream therapy foregrounds the importance of storytelling and speculative narratives as strategies of survival, imagination and reclaiming (hi)stories. The exhibition consists of installations, video-work, commissioned soundscapes, workshops, conversations, drawings and online screening and meetings. It will run until January 21, 2023.
Taysir Batniji: No Condition is Permanent looks at Batniji’s diverse practice using photography, drawing, video, installation and performance. The show is a survey of his art created between 1997 and 2022. One Tiger or Another exhibition explores the creative potential of art and media as a means of storytelling and the shaping and reshaping of identity. Moreover, as it investigates the iconography of the tiger in relation to both South and Southeast Asian history, it questions the boundaries between fact and fiction, between coloniser and colonised, and looks at how the same story can be told and retold.
Majaz: The exhibit will run until February 25, 2023.
Contemporary Art Qatar is an exhibition that celebrates five years of the Artist in Residence programme at the Fire Station and features over 80 artworks. It showcases works in a variety of disciplines including painting, sculpture, and new media while exploring different perspectives and reflections to unveil personal, cultural, and global concepts. The exhibit will run until February 25, 2023.