Posted on November 08, 2014

Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha presents Shirin Neshat: Afterwards, the first solo exhibition in the Middle East by internationally acclaimed artist Shirin Neshat, which will run from 9 November 2014 – 15 February 2015.

Presented by Qatar Museums under the leadership of its Chairperson, HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, this major exhibition is curated by Abdellah Karroum, Director of Mathaf. Occupying the entire ground floor galleries, the exhibition features existing and newly produced works. The show includes the major photographic series The Book of Kings (2012) inspired by the poem Shahnameh (The Book of Kings) by Persian poet Ferdowsi, written between c. 977 and 1010 CE, as well as a selection of video installations, OverRuled (2012) and Turbulent (1998) that collectively comment on historical, cultural and political realities on which the artist has focused on for the past 30 years.

Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern 2 [].jpgAs Neshat said in her interview with Abdellah Karroum: “The Book of Kings is a conceptual and artistic approach to narrating history, questioning the notion of ‘heroism,’ and capturing the emotional and human realities behind the faces of those who stand in the intersection of love, devotion and sacrifice, yet violence, atrocity, and death.” The exhibition is conceived as a visual and sonorous experience that unfolds in the spaces of the museum. Composed of layers of information, images, references and concepts, this exhibition is an experience that, through the artist’s interrogation of history and acts of building and destroying life and relationships, addresses the contradictions inherent to humanity.

Abdellah Karroum, Director of Mathaf and curator, said “This exceptional body of work reveals Shirin Neshat’s intention to build relationships between ancient mythologies and contemporary events that challenge our lives. Her vivid poetic expression repeatedly manifests itself in her signature visual vocabulary, which is comprised of photography, calligraphy, poetry and filmmaking. With these elements, she creates powerful narratives that require viewers to decrypt, interpret and position themselves within the work in order to fully grasp its meaning.”

Shirin Neshat joins Abdellah Karroum for a one-off public conversation at 3.00pm on Sunday 9th November. This takes place as part of the CIMAM 2014 Annual conference, the most important forum for communication and exchange between museums, professionals, and artists in the modern and contemporary art world. This conversation takes place at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art at Qatar Foundation. A fully illustrated bilingual Arabic-English catalogue will be released by Mathaf. The publication will contain an interview by Abdellah Karroum and essays by several other contributors, providing  significant insight into the artistic process of Shirin Neshat.

Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern 3 [].jpgMathaf also opened its doors to a new permanent presentation of its collection last Saturday 1st November. Mathaf Collection, Summary, Part 1 includes work from Qatar and the Arab world, Iran, Turkey, and other regions historically connected to the Arab Peninsula, reflecting a multitude of artistic directions and contexts.

Shirin Neshat: Afterwards

Exhibition at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha

9 November, 2014 until 15 February, 2015.

Curator: Abdellah Karroum

Assistant Curator: Leonore-Namkha Beschi

To find out more about all upcoming events presented by Qatar Museums, visit