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Doha artists portray new reality, hard times at ‘Outbreak’ expo

Doha artists portray new reality, hard times at ‘Outbreak’ expo

Ailyn Agonia
DOHA
From showing how QR codes are finally having a moment in this time of pandemic and the consumer behaviour paradigm amid COVID-19 to the efforts to control virus spread and reemergence of social and political tensions across the globe, the multi-media art exhibition titled ‘Outbreak’ which opened at the Sikkat Wadi Msheireb in Mshereib Downtown Doha on Thursday presents a hard look on how the current challenges have altered social norms while inspiring people to continue to come to one another’s aid.
The event featuring 24 local talents is organised by the Doha Film Institute’s (DFI) 8th Ajyal Film Festival, in collaboration with Msheireb Properties, to promote local arts and support the creative community.
One of the crowd-pullers in the featured collection is the work of Maryam Faraj al Suwaidi. Her art installation titled ‘Oblivious Habits’ dramatically portrays mundane daily habits of people and their varied emotions such as regret of loss of precious time, fear and sense of survival, triggered by the global health crisis.
“My work talks about how we can embrace the concept of destruction which is an art concept common in other regions. The objects put together for this art piece are chosen deliberately to express the things we are looking at and how we are approaching them at this very moment. Each piece is expressing a sense of emotions and actions such as acceptance and rejection. The newspapers used are all bear headlines that we have not given much attention to before, but now each headline is considered important,” Maryam said.
She stressed the important role of artists in using their platform in such a dire situation as the pandemic. “Like poets, philosophers, scientists, researchers and any other people, artists have a responsibility in delivering a message, a specific hypothesis or their own perspective. As an artist, I feel I have the responsibility to express my perspective of giving hope, giving a sense of acceptance to the situation. Not every person has the ability to express that, and as an artist I feel honuoured and obligated to deliver this message,” she said.
Mohammed Faraj Al Suwaidi presents a series of artworks depicting the consumerism sentiment and behaviour that continue to reflect the uncertainty of the COVID-19 crisis.
He said the art pieces he put together create a dialogue around the topic of the pandemic and show the idea of culture in a society that has built a habit over consumerism, and social and commercial aspects.
“Moving forward amid COVID-19, we find ourselves in a situation that is filled with so much misinformation. When we first started we didn’t really know how to deal with the situation, how it was dealt with and how it was supposed to be handled. The face in the middle of my artwork talks about two meanings of transmission: transmitting information from one person to another and the idea of transmitting the virus,” said Mohammed.
He also underlined the many role of artists in this trying times. He said. “Some people chose to spread awareness, some choose to explore the idea of COVID-19 and the struggles they have gone through as well. It’s a very interesting dialogue and each artist end up taking a different approach on how they handle the situation.”
Other works on display include an installation by AJ Al Thani titled ‘Sand Box’, ‘Screen and QR Codes (The New Reality)’ by Maryam Al Homaid, ‘Series: Reclaimed by Nature’ by Roda Al Thani, ‘It Will Be Controlled, Be Positive’ by Ali Al Mannai, ‘Isolation’ by Reem Al Haddad and ‘Al Hazm Feast’ by Ibrahim Al Baker.
Also on display are the works of Shouq Al Manaa, Hamad Al Fayhani, Noor Al Nasr, Saad Al Muslamani, Bothayna Al Zaman, Anfal Al Kandari, Mohammed Al Hammadi, Marsya Abdulghani, Elie Fahed, Abdulaziz Yousef, Adriane De Souza, Paul Valentine, Sharefa Al Mannai, Reem Al Haddad, Maha Al Subaey, Nasser Al Kubaisi and Ghada Al Khater.
‘Outbreak’ will be running until December 10.

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