As part of the Qatar-Russia 2018 Year of Culture programme, Qatar Museums presents “Qatar Contemporary: Art and Photography”, a 3-week long art display hub which is also the largest of its kind from Qatar to be hosted in Russia.
On show at the Manege Central Exhibition Hall in St.Petersburg from November 19 till December 10, 2019, the exhibition is divided into two parts namely:
As curated by Dr. Giles Hudson and Sheikha Maryam Al-Thani.
As curated by Dr. Bahaa Abudaya.
Furthermore, here are the key takeaway messages that the ILQ team has stumbled upon at the art spot itself few days before it opens to public:
The exhibit is showcasing the true Qatar, meaning the oil-rich country’s older areas are featured, not just the metropolitan ones. There are also transitional videos which shines spotlight on how Qatar has amazingly evolved over the years.
Moreover, the art pieces found inside the venue celebrate the past, present and future of Qatar. The country has undergone massive transformations over the past few years, resulting in a variety of experiences and perspectives.
The photographic section, on the other hand, provides an introduction to the visual landscape of Qatar and showcases the work of contemporary photographers based in the country. Sections are devoted to photographic portraiture, architectural photography and more experimental work.
Also displayed at the exhibit's first half are 200 photographic treasures from Qatar Museums’ historical collections, exhibited together for the first time.
The exhibition doesn’t only showcase Qatari artists but all of the different nationality artists that live and reside in Qatar—a relevant aspect on how its multi-cultural people has helped to shape what Qatar now has become.
While Building a Vision: Photography from Qatar (the first part) features over 250 photographs from 60 photographers of 28 different nationalities, the exhibit's second half features 100 contemporary works from 46 artists of 13 different nationalities, from Qatar’s local art scene.
There are lots of weird and never-before-seen art pieces which represents Qatar in a completely expressive way.
Formal studies of falconers by Aref Al-Ammari, for example, while adopting a contemporary photographic aesthetic, convey a strong sense of cultural belonging. Shaikha Al-Hardan, meanwhile, finds beauty in Qatar’s abandoned buildings (as photographed under unusual lighting conditions), while Khalid Al Hammad probes the impact of modernist architecture on the shifting identity of the nation.
Using varied materials such as cement, steel, wood and glass, artists create a metaphor for the establishment of social structures and the essence of the modern era. Some of the standouts from the bizarre batch are the made-of-sand carpet, glow-in-the-dark tunnel, and the blockade-inspired gallery.
The Qatar Russia 2018 Year of Culture, of which the exhibition is a part of, is designed to deepen understanding between nations and their people through mutual exchanges of arts, culture and heritage.
Organized under the patronage of QM’s Chairperson, Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the exhibition is supported by the Doha Film Institute and Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar.
To know more about Qatar Museums, check out their website and social media links below!
What are your thoughts on the 2018 Qatar-Russia Year of Culture? Do you think this new initiative by Qatar Museums will be an effective tool to further strengthen the diplomatic ties of the two countries? Drop us a line in the comments and also, don't forget to like and share this article—it keeps us going!
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