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.
About Qatar Museums
Qatar Museums connects the museums, cultural institutions and heritage sites in Qatar and creates the conditions for them to thrive and flourish. It provides a comprehensive organisation for the development of museums and cultural projects, with a long term ambition of creating a strong and sustainable cultural infrastructure for Qatar. Under the patronage of His Highness the Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and led by its Chairperson, Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, QM is consolidating Qatar’s efforts to become a vibrant centre for the arts, culture and education, in the Middle East and beyond.
Since its foundation in 2005, QM has overseen the development of the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA), Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, and the Al Zubarah World Heritage Site Visitor Centre. QM also manages the QM Gallery at Katara Cultural Village, the ALRIWAQ DOHA Exhibition Space and the Fire Station: Artists in Residence. Future projects include the launch of the highly anticipated National Museum of Qatar and the 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum.
QM is committed to instigating Qatar’s future generation of arts, heritage and museum professionals. At its core is a commitment to nurturing artistic talent, creating opportunities and developing the skills to service Qatar’s emerging art economy. By means of a multi-faceted program and public art initiatives, QM seeks to push the boundaries of the traditional museum model, and create cultural experiences that spill out onto the streets and seek to involve a wide audience. Through a strong emphasis on originating art and culture from within and fostering a spirit of national participation, QM is helping Qatar find its own distinctive voice in today’s global cultural debates.
Year of Culture Qatar-Russia 2018
2018 has been announced as a Year of Culture between Qatar and Russia. The year is part of the landmark ‘Years of Culture’ initiative developed under the guidance of Qatar Museums’ Chairperson HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani in 2012. It is designed to deepen understanding between nations and their people through mutual exchanges of arts, culture and heritage. It also provides tangible opportunities to build sustainable links and cooperation between creative members of Qatari and Russian society and foster continuous collaboration.
Despite the differences in size, climate and geography, our countries share common values - the will to modernize yet save and cherish national traditions and the goal to build the most comfortable infrastructure maximizing human potential.
Cross-cultural collaborations between Russian and Qatar cultural, educational and social institutions (museums, galleries, charity foundations, universities etc) will be a meeting point for two distinct cultures, which unite respect for their historical heritage and the ability to respond to the challenges of contemporary world. These areas reflect Russia’s and Qatar’s mutual interest towards key cultural spheres in which the accent on one’s needs and aspirations becomes the key to nation’s prosperity.
The Year of Culture Qatar-Russia 2018 create an atmosphere of trust and understanding which is crucial to build business relationships and strengthen economic, tourist and cultural partnership between two countries.
The Qatar Russia 2018 Year of Culture, sponsored by Qatar Airways, was planned in collaboration with leading institutions in Qatar and Russia, including the Embassy of Qatar in Moscow, the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Doha, the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, Qatar’s Ministry of Culture and Sport and the State Museum.