A must read new article by Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi “Can Mathaf Restore a Pan-Arab Artistic Identity?” for Qantara.de (Internet portal promoting a dialogue with the Islamic world) about Pan-Arab counties post-colonialism development, relations with Western countries, cultural identification, efforts on develop and promote art and Mathaf: The Arab Museum of Modern Art in Qatar as an example of the correct strategy on building and showcasing its comprehensive Pan-Arab artists collection.
“Mathaf‘s first show was named Sajjil: A century of modern Art, a nod to documenting the region’s modern artistic history that dates back to the mid-19th century. “Sajjil ana Arabi” (Record I am an Arab) is also a line from a famous poem by Mahmoud Darwish, the iconic Palestinian poet who died in 2008.
The show was curated by a trinity of accomplished Arab women including Palestinian-Iraqi art historian Nada Shabout along with Wassan Al-Khudhairi and Deena Chalabi who wrote in her 2010 essay “Articulating Mathaf”:
“With a few exceptions, museums in the Arab world often house and promote a specific sense of national identity: a single coherent narrative told through the display of their objects, about each country and its history. Public museums of modern art in the region are few, but also tend towards collective expressions of national pride, rather than emphasizing individual creations within wider artistic and social frameworks.””
Article mentions Kuwaiti artist Sami Mohammed, Monira Al Qadiri and Khorafi Art Biennale in Kuwait.
Read full article : Qantara.de – Can Mathaf Restore a Pan-Arab Artistic Identity?