Qatar Contemporary: Art and Photography
On November 19, 2018, St. Petersburg will host the official opening of the exhibition Qatar Contemporary: Art and Photography. Presented by Qatar Museums as the finale of the Qatar Russia 2018 Year of Culture, the exhibition will be held at Manege Central Exhibition Hall within the framework of the VII St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum.
Qatar Contemporary: Art and Photography will showcase Qatar's rapid social and urban transformation through the eyes of talented emerging artists, both local and expatriate, residing in Qatar. With over 45 artists and 100 artworks on view, and 350 photographs from 55 Qatar based photographers, plus 200 photographs from the Qatar Museums historical collections, the exhibition will explore implications of this sudden change on the way people think and how the community as a whole sees itself.
The exhibition which includes collaborations with VCUQatar explores 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.
The rapid transformation that Qatar is currently experiencing brings with it unprecedented creative opportunities for photographers not only to 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 the 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.
The exhibition will run through December 10, 2018. The exhibition is organized by Qatar Museums and curated by Dr. Bahaa Abudaya, Dr. Giles Matthew Hudson and Sheikha Maryam Al-Thani.