Posted on September 25, 2016

Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha has dedicated part of its museum to a new display of permanent collection work Fair Skies by Iraqi- Canadian contemporary artist Mahmoud Obaidi.

On show from 22nd September 2016 –8th January 2017, the installation, entitled Fair Skies curated by Mathaf’s Curator Leonore-Namkha Beschi is on view in Mathaf’s Project Space, dedicated to emerging artists and curators’ experimentations with new ideas and forms of presentation. Presented by Qatar Museums under the leadership of its Chairperson, H.E Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Fair Skies is inspired by the artist’s own experience with airport security, and can be read as a social, political, and cultural critique of stereotypical assumptions.

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The installation is the continuation of a prior project by Obaidi titled How Not To Look Like a Terrorist (2010). Configured as a commercial booth, Fair Skies is made up of vending machines, plastic figurines regrouped in miniature scenes and a video. A branded make-up kit contains hair dye, skin whitener and coloured contact lenses, all designed to create a physical transformation for its user. The four miniature scenes play out in the video, recreating Obaidi’s encounter with a security officer at the time he was approached waiting to board a plane. The plastic figurines, which are modelled on the artist’s own appearance, raise the question of individuality within the masses.

The installation comes ahead of a major exhibition by Obaidi opening on 18th October at the QM Gallery in Katara Cultural Village. In the exhibition, entitled Fragments, the artist retraces the 'organised chaos' that led to the destruction of Iraq, and presents a response to witnessing the city of Baghdad fall piece by piece. In his work Obaidi recreates what has been stolen or destroyed to try to piece the city back together again. The exhibition shows how Obaidi is grappling with the destruction of an 8,000-year-old civilisation, which has been laid waste in less than a fraction of that time.

Mathaf houses the largest and most extensive permanent collection of modern and contemporary art in the region, mainly focusing on the region and its historical and cultural connection from North Africa to Asia, and from Turkey and Iran. Mathaf has more than 9,000 works in it is care, dating from the 19th century to the present day.

For more information, visit

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Free entry

Opening hours:

Sunday           11 am – 6 pm

Monday          Closed
Tuesday         11 am – 6 pm
Wednesday   11 am – 6 pm
Thursday       11 am – 6 pm
Friday            3 pm – 8 pm
Saturday        11 am – 6 pm