Posted on May 24, 2018

The impact of crisis on human life, including the ongoing blockade, is the theme of “Beyond Appearances” exhibition which opened on Tuesday at Katara Art Centre. The show delves deep into the subject through a rich collection of artworks including mixed media works by Laetitia DO, photography by Marie-Josee Bedard and poetry by Cecilia Burtica.

Inspired mainly by the blockade, the conceptual art pieces on display focus on other aspects of crisis including social and psychological, Burtica, an art critic who also curates the exhibition, told The Peninsula. “Moving to another country, for instance, is a crisis since one has to create an identity. No matter what the crisis one faces, the journey is the same,” she said. An intriguing component common to many of the artworks is the human eye, which are interspersed with some elements of Islamic art. “The human person is the centre of the universe and the eye is the image of the soul. The eye hides from the beholder many things, hence we adopted the title Beyond Appearances,” she added.

Professional artist Laetitia DO, who has been in Qatar for over a year, said her works on display which she started after the onset of the blockade, centre on the impact of all types of crises on identity. “I wanted to talk about the impact of crisis on a personal level, how one’s identity emerges stronger after we reorganize our state of mind following the crisis,” she said.

The eye and the circle are two elements prevalent in her works- the former can be interpreted in countless ways depending on one’s experiences and background, she said. “The circle is a basic element of Islamic art. Virtually all shapes can be created thorugh the intersections of the circle,” she said, adding she also incorporated the Agal, a black cord worn by Arab men, in some of the works to in reference to Qatar. “The Agal, which is also circular in shape, is a metaphor for the Qatari identity, which has become stronger as the country develops. think the crisis has made Qatar stronger,” she explained.

Asked on the impact of the blockade on art and art production in the country, she said it has acted as a catalyst. “Everybody thinks of a way to speak about the crisis. I think it’s a beginning of something great and Qatar can finally be the winner in this situation,” she added. The exhibition, which was launched by Dr. Bart De Groof, Ambassador of Belgium to Qatar, is  open to the public until June 22 at Katara Art Centre Building 5.

source: The Peninsula