Posted on May 10, 2012

In partnership with Art21's Access ’12 initiative, Mathaf is hosting a screening on the work of artist El Anatsui. Afterwards, the Mathaf team will lead breakout sessions with participants to debate and question the role of contemporary art in Qatar.

Hosted in both Arabic and English, this community centered brainstorm session will generate ideas for programs, events, and resources that will shape the future of Mathaf.

Museum Laboratory is free and open to the public. It takes place Wednesday 16th of May at 6:00 pm. Tickets can be acquired through:

Art21 Access ’12 is an international screening initiative created to increase knowledge of contemporary art, ignite dialogue, and inspire creative thinking through hundreds of public screenings and events that tailor the ideas presented in the series to the interests and concerns of local audiences.

According to Susan Sollins, Executive Producer of Art21, "Access ’12 provides an opportunity for organizations around the country and the world to experience a central goal of Art21—dialogue inspired by contemporary art and the ideas it expresses."

The following episode will be screened during the 16th of May event:

Episode 1: Change
This episode features artists who bear witness, through their work, to transformation—cultural, material, and aesthetic—and actively engage communities as collaborators and subjects. El Anatsui is featured.

El Anatsui was born in Anyanko, Ghana in 1944. El Anatsui received a BA from the College of Art, University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana (1969) and since 1975 has taught at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Working with wood, clay, metal, and—most recently—the discarded metal caps of liquor bottles, Anatsui breaks with sculpture’s traditional adherence to forms of fixed shape while visually referencing the history of abstraction in African and European art.

The colorful and densely patterned fields of the works assembled from discarded liquor-bottle caps also trace a broader story of colonial and postcolonial economic and cultural exchange in Africa, told in the history of cast-off materials. The sculptures in wood and ceramics introduce ideas about the function of objects (their destruction, transformation, and regeneration) in everyday life, and the role of language in deciphering visual symbols.