The heat of the summer and the quiet contemplation of the holy month of Ramadan have combined to ensure that, apart from the impressive number of special exhibitions taking place at Katara Cultural Village throughout July and August, the arts have mostly been on hiatus of late.
But with Eid Al Fitr behind us, a number of fresh cultural happenings are starting to fill Qatar’s cultural diary for the rest of the year.
Here are five arts-related openings worth looking out for during September and October 2013.
1. Jazz at Lincoln Center Doha returns
As part of a collaboration between the St Regis Hotel in Doha and the Lincoln Center in New York, Qatar now hosts world-class jazz musicians within a cozy setting at the St Regis’s elegant new Jazz at Lincoln Center Doha venue, opened last October by jazz legend, and Jazz at Lincoln Center curator, Wynton Marsalis.
Recent visitors have included the Richard Johnson Quartet and the Joe Saylor Quintet. The new end-of summer season starts on Monday 2 September. For details of who to expect during the new season, check out www.jalcdoha.com
2. Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra (QPO) commence new 2013-14 season
A new season for the 101 musicians of the QPO starts on Saturday 21 September with a new musical director at the helm. Korean Han-Na Chang will conduct a program at the Opera House, Katara Cultural Village that includes Ravel, Beethoven and Marcel Khalifé, taking her place as the only female musical director of a major Philharmonic Orchestra.
Gilbert Yammine on kanun is the guest artist on opening night. Performances continue on Saturday evenings at 7.30pm throughout the rest of September and October, with the season continuing through to early summer 2014. Tickets for the Opera House concerts cost QR75-QR300.
3. Adel Abdessemed exhibits at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art
From 5 October 2013 through to 5 January 2014, Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art will play host to a solo exhibition by Adel Abdessemed entitled L’Âge D’Or. It marks the first exhibition to be curated by Abdellah Karroum, Mathaf’s newly appointed director, and will feature a range of artworks, many of them specially created for this exhibition, by the Paris-based Algerian artist.
Among the new works will be a large bas-relief gold plated work depicting the artist’s four young daughters and Julie, a life-size sculpture of the artist’s wife made from salt stone.
New works, including two new videos, will be complemented by exisiting works, including Coup de Tête, a five metre-high depicting the moment when French footballer Zinedine Zidane headbutted the Italian footballer Marco Materazzi during the 2006 World Cup Final, which will be displayed in a prominent Doha location away from Mathaf’s Education City base.
4. Hajj – The Journey Through Art at the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA)
To celebrate and illuminate the holy pilgrimage that takes place each year during the Islamic month of Hajj, MIA is hosting an exhibition of Hajj-related items. Many of the items come from the museum’s own ever-growing collection, with most of them never having been displayed in public until this new exhibition.
The artworks and artefacts displayed will be on show from 9 October 2013 until 5 January 2014.
5. Qatar Museum Authority presents Damien Hurst at Al Riwaq Exhibition Center
From 10 October 2013 until 30 January 2014, Al Riwaq Exhibition Center, situated next to the Museum of Islamic Art, will be the host venue of the first solo exhibition in the Middle East – and an extensive one at that – by celebrated artist Damien Hurst as part of the yearlong Qatar UK 2013 cultural celebrations.
Since curating his first show in 1988, Hurst has been at the centre of the UK’s modern art movement and was the leading light of the ‘Young British Artists’ who dominated the art scene in London in the 1990s. His large-scale instillations have included the preservation in formaldehyde of dead sharks and cows, often dissected, or have featured sculls encrusted in gemstones and gold and have met with both positive and negative critical response. He is also known for his large “spin paintings” and “spot paintings”.
It is anticipated that many of his most well-known works of art will be on show at this Qatar Museum Authority-supported exhibition.