Posted on October 02, 2018

Qatar Museums (QM) will mark the end of its hugely successful Qatar Russia 2018 Year of Culture with an exhibition showcasing the country’s rapid social and urban transformation as seen through the eyes of talented emerging artists, both local and expatriate, residing in and from Qatar.

Under the patronage of QM Chairperson, Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the exhibition, entitled Qatar Contemporary: Art and Photography, will be held at St. Petersburg’s Manege Central Exhibition Hall within the framework of the 7th St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum. Curated by Dr. Bahaa Abudaya, more than 100 artworks from over 45 artists are to be displayed, alongside 350 photographs from 55 Qatar-based photographers, curated by Dr. Giles Matthew Hudson and Sheikha Maryam Al-Thani. These will join 200 photographs from the Qatar Museums’ historical collections, which will also be exhibited, providing a high-profile platform for photography to promote mutual understanding between cultures and nations.

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The exhibition, which includes a collaboration with Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar, will explore various themes in defining the contemporary, such as materiality, with its connotations of construction and progress, alluding to the building blocks of modern institutions and society. Another theme depicts how cultural practice and interpretation constantly shifts between tradition and the push for progress. The final theme bears witness to the mounting effects of digital technology and automated processes on art and Qatari society as a whole.

Commenting ahead of the launch, Mohammed Al Othman, Director of International and Public Relations at QM, said: “The Qatar Russia 2018 Year of Culture aims to strengthen relations between Qatar and Russia, celebrating the vibrant complexity of both nations and their people. Through this incredible exhibition we will be introducing new audiences to Qatar’s rapid development as told through the eyes of the people that have lived and breathed our country’s transformation.”

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The rapid transformation that Qatar is currently experiencing brings with it unprecedented creative opportunities for photographers to not only document but to contribute towards the reshaping of the visual identity of the nation. A separate section in the exhibition showcases the work of contemporary photographers based in Qatar, alongside photography commissioned by Qatar Museums as part of the Years of Culture exchange programme and related photographs from the collections, and short films from the Doha Film Institute ‘Made in Qatar’ programme. The displays seek to examine the changing nature of Qatar as a people and as a place through photographic medium; to provide a platform for emerging photographers based in the country; and to introduce Qatar Museums’ historic collections to new audiences, revealing the role of photography in promoting mutual understanding between cultures and nations.

Mohammed Al Othman further commented: “I’ve no doubt that the works on display will help foster cultural dialogue between everyone who sees them – thereby helping achieve the central goal of the Years of Culture programme.”

Qatar Contemporary: Art and Photography will open on November 14, 2018 and run through December 10, 2018.