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Contemporary Art Qatar opens in Berlin
Contemporary Art Qatar installation view.

BERLIN.- The largest ever showcase of contemporary arts from Qatar, presented by Qatar Museums as the finale of the Qatar Germany 2017 Year of Culture, opens at Berlin’s legendary Kraftwerk space on Saturday, 9 December 2017 until 3 January 2018.

The large-scale exhibition Contemporary Art Qatar, covering an area of more than 7,500 sq metres, reflects the vibrancy of Qatar’s flourishing arts and cultural scene. It highlights the breadth and scope of Qatar Museums’ offer by drawing on work from its successful artists in residence programme, its Year of Culture activity, VCUQatar collaborations, Doha Film Institute Made in Qatar programme and other initiatives undertaken by the organisation.

The exhibition is a reflection of Qatar’s culture presented from the perspective of the country’s national and resident population and international collaborators who have worked in the country. Using a variety of mediums and approaches, including contemporary art, installations, photography and films, the artists share their stories and reflect on their experiences in Qatar’s ever changing and growing environment.

The exhibition has three sections, and includes:

• Articulating the Particular: Contemporary Visual Narratives, presents how artists respond to and document the transformation of society, traditional practices and contemporary identity. This section features over 100 works in all media by artists from Qatar including 19 Qatari artists and 16 international artists who practiced art in the country. Artists include: Maryam Ahmed, Noor Abuissa, Nasser Al-Attiyah, Ahmed Al Jufairi, Abeer Al Kuwari, Bouthayna Al-Muftah, Sara Obaidli, Roudha Al-Nasser, Nofe Al-Suwaidi, Fahad Al Obaidly, Aisha Al-Suwaidi, Shaha Alkhulaifi, Fatma Al-Remaihi, Hana Al Saadi, Maryam Al Semaitt & Nawar Al Mutlaq, Maryam Al Suwaidi, Maryam Al Homaid, Richard Blackwell, Sebastian Betancur Montoya, Mariah Dekkenga, Amr Elkafrawy, Cesc Grane, Nesma Khodier, Othman M.R. Khunji, Christto & Andrew, Zoe Hawk, Kelley Lowe, Lulu M, Charles Mahaffee, Simone Muscolino, Juan Martinez Demedina, Emelina Soares, Titika Stamouli, Rachel Leah Cohn and Clemens Bauder and Zach Stensen.

Highlighting QM’s success in nurturing artists and providing them with opportunities to display their work, this section is jointly curated by members of Qatar Museums’ curatorial team based in Doha, Dr Bahaa Abudaya and Aisha Nasser Al Sowaidi.

• Cultural Exposures: Photography and Film from Qatar includes work by Qatari photographers at home and abroad, as well as guest photographers who visited Qatar as part of the Years of Culture exchanges with Brazil, Turkey and China. Among those represented are Manar Yousef, Abdulla Faisal Al-Khalaf, Khalifa Al Obaidli, Andre Joaquim, Leonardo Wen, Aref Al Ammari, Abdullha Al Tamimi, Sara Al Obaidly, Salih Al Marri, Ali Bayraktaroğlu, Hasan Yelken, Ahmed Al Khulaifi, Saeed Al Marri, Bao Lixia, Liu Zhining and Xu Xinrong. The photographs offer a picture of the life and landscape of contemporary Qatar, and reveal the perspective of its photographers on the wider world. The nine films, produced under the auspices of the Doha Film Institute within the Made in Qatar program, are by some of Qatar’s most talented emerging film-makers: Shaima Al Tamimi, Mariam Salim, Jassim Al-Rumaihi, Aisha Abduljawad, Amina Ahmed Al Bloshi, Majid Al-Remaihi, Rawda Al-Thani, A.J. Al Thani, Amal Al-Muftah and Ahmad Abdelnaser. They explore aspects of tradition and modernity in Qatar, and the challenges of reconciling the two during a period of rapid change.

Co-curated by members of Qatar Museums’ curatorial team based in Doha, Dr Giles Hudson and Maryam Al-Thani, this section highlights how artists and creators from different countries have benefited from the cultural exchanges that have taken place in the last few years.

• Hey’Ya: Arab Women in Sport features selection of 28 portraits from a photography by Brigitte Lacombe and video portraits by Marian Lacombe, commissioned by Qatar Museums in 2012, featuring portraits and interviews with 90 Arab female athletes, 31 of whom are from Qatar.

Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Chairperson, Qatar Museums, said: “It is an important time for our country. And a wonderful moment to be able to celebrate the true friendship between Qatar and Germany. We are proud of the extraordinary talent of the new generation of artists emerging in Qatar, both those of Qatari nationality, but also the artists we welcome from other parts of the world. We view nurturing artists and opening up new networks as a crucial part of our work to support the future development of our country and also to reflect our belief in the power of art to bring people together.”

H.E. Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Ambassador of the State of Qatar to Germany said: “This exhibition is a magnificent closing for the Qatar Germany Year of Culture 2017 that has seen amazing initiatives and exchanges across both countries. Berlin embraces art like very few other cities, and is a befitting platform for Contemporary Art Qatar to engage with the German audience. It showcases the rich art scene in Qatar, and creates a platform to engage in cultural dialogue”.

The creative direction of the exhibition was led by Shk. Reem Al Thani, Head of Exhibition Design at Qatar Museums. The experience of the exhibition has been designed and crafted to integrate many forms of media and dialogues that are unique to Qatar.

Coinciding with this major exhibition in Berlin, as part of Qatar Germany 2017 Year of Culture, two large-scale exhibitions are taking place in Doha: Driven by German Design, tracing the development of German design from the 1950s to the present day, at QM Gallery Al Riwaq (until 14 January 2018), and German Encounters: Contemporary Masterpieces from the Deutsche Bank Collection at Doha Fire Station Artist in Residence (until 20 January 2018).

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