Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art president HE Sheikh Hassan bin Mohammed bin Ali al-Thani inaugurated four art exhibitions on September 15, showcasing the works of renowned artists from across the region. The exhibitions, under the patronage of Qatar Museums (QM) chairperson HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, form part of Qatar Creates and reflect the creative power and heritage of the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia (Menasa) region in celebration of the Qatar – Menasa Year of Culture 2022.
The exhibitions, open to the public from September 16, are Sophia al-Maria: Invisible Labours daydream therapy; Taysir Batniji: No Condition is Permanent; One Tiger or Another, a research exhibition for a major new project, Rubaiyat Qatar, an art quadrennial that will be presented in its inaugural edition across Qatar in 2024; and a group show Majaz: Contemporary Art Qatar, featuring works from alumni of the Fire Station’s Artist in Residence (AIR) programme.

In a press statement, HE Sheikha Al Mayassa said: “For more than a decade, Mathaf has amplified the voices of artists who share cultural and historical connections with Qatar, and has inspired our local community by providing exposure to artists offering Arab perspectives. Mathaf fulfills this mission through a diverse selection of exhibitions, whether Qatari-American artist Sophia Al-Maria with her first show in the region, Taysir Batniji’s work centred on his time living in Palestine or works from alumni of the Fire Station’s Artist in Residence programme whose creations may be their first to appear in a museum, these exhibitions reinforce that there is no one Arab voice, perspective, or experience. Rounding out the programme at Mathaf is our first exploration into an exciting new initiative, Rubaiyat Qatar, which will transform Qatar into a nationwide exhibition of contemporary Arab art every four years, debuting in 2024.”
Mathaf director Zeina Arida said: “We are thrilled to present a programme encompassing a diverse cross-section of exceptional contemporary Arab artists whose backgrounds span borders and whose works utilise a variety of disciplines and subjects. Mathaf is the modern art hub in Qatar where visitors can interact and experiment with new art forms from contemporary artists.”
Sophia al-Maria: Invisible Labours daydream therapy, running until January 2023, brings together existing and new works for the Qatari-American artist’s first major museum exhibition in the Middle East. For this show, al-Maria, invites a group of artists, curators, scholars, and communities into a dialogue around histories and futures and the Gulf’s relation to the surrounding regions. The exhibition consists of installations, video-work, commissioned soundscapes, workshops, conversations, drawings and online screening and meetings. The exhibition is curated by researcher and independent curator Amal Alhaag in collaboration with Mathaf’s assistant-curator Abdulrahman Mohammed Alkubaisi.
Taysir Batniji: No Condition is Permanent, running until January 21, 2023, is presented within a global context of social uncertainty and fragility of historical narratives. The exhibition, conceived as a reflective space dedicated to the artist Batniji, is a survey of his art created between 1997 and 2022. During this period, the artist lived in France, but his life and work meditate on Palestine. The exhibition looks at Batniji’s diverse practice using photography, drawing, video, installation and performance, and is co-curated by Abdellah Karroum and Lina Ramadan.
Majaz: Contemporary Art Qatar, running until February 25, 2023 celebrates five years of the AIR programme at the Fire Station in Doha and the flourishing art scene in Qatar.
In January 2021, the Fire Station invited 14 AIR alumni to participate in a six-month-long programme to develop new works for this exhibition. An additional 25 AIR alumni are featured in the exhibition, where they showcase works in a variety of disciplines including painting, sculpture, and new media while exploring different perspectives and reflections to unveil personal, cultural, and global concepts.
The works will be displayed in dialogue with each other highlighting various elements of storytelling. The exhibition is curated by Saida al-Khulaifi, acting head of Residency Programmes and Amal Zeyad Ali, exhibitions coordinator at the Fire Station.
One Tiger or Another, running until January 21, 2023, features a cannon, a contemporary video installation, 18-century paintings and contemporary comic books. This exhibition, curated by Tom Eccles and Mark Rappolt, explores history as the product of both fact and fiction, through a CGI-animation by Singaporean artist Ho Tzu Nyen (b. 1976) and artefacts relating to the legend of Tipu Sultan, the Tiger of Mysore, one of the most famous and polarising figures in South Asian history, across mediums and time.
Eccles observed that the exhibition demonstrates the depth of QM’s collection and creates a lens through which to view how the past is always present.” Led by artistic directors Eccles and Mark Rappolt, assistant curator Jumanah Abbas, and director of Rubaiyat, Sheikha Alanood Hamad al-Thani, this emblematic exhibition forms part of the initial research for Rubaiyat Qatar.
A major new project under QM, Rubaiyat Qatar is a nationwide multidisciplinary quadrennial exhibition. Leading up to its inaugural edition in 2024 is a series of pop-up exhibitions and residencies that will introduce local communities to the themes and practices related to its inaugural 2024 exhibition.
Products inspired by the exhibitions are on sale at the QM’s gift shop at Mathaf and on the IN-Q website: Items purchased online ship worldwide via DHL.


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