Mathaf Opens Exhibit Revisiting Beirut's History From 1958-1978


(MENAFN- The Peninsula) joelyn baluyut | The Peninsula

Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art unveiled an exhibition that is the most comprehensive presentation to date about a pivotal period of artistic production and modern Arab history, from Lebanon's 1958 political crisis through the outbreak of the Civil War in 1975.

The exhibition“Beirut and the Golden Sixties: A Manifesto of Fragility” presents over 225 works of art and 300 archival papers drawn from roughly 36 collections located in 16 different locations throughout the world.

Prior to Doha's preview, it premiered in Germany and France in 2022. The exhibit will run from March 16 to August 5, and is part of Qatar Creates, a yearly national cultural initiative that curates, promotes, and celebrates the diversity of cultural activities in the country.

Chairperson of Qatar Museums, H E Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani said in a press statement:“One of the many functions of art is to recollect or reimagine a home that has been lost. One of the many functions of an art museum is to create a new home, if only a temporary one, where people who are scattered can come together for a moment, pause, and reflect.

“Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art is such a home. Its collection, exhibitions, and programmes bring together the visions of artists, and the voices of thinkers, from the far-flung Arab world, many of whom have personally experienced the pangs of displacement and exile. Mathaf's exhibition Beirut and the Golden Sixties is another such ingathering. It is an extraordinary, moving, and deeply thoughtful assemblage of artworks and documents, many by artists who are represented in Mathaf's collection, about a place that was both fabled and troubled and that now, though lost forever, cannot be forgotten: the flourishing, cosmopolitan Beirut of 1958 through 1975.”

Mathaf Director, Zeina Arida meanwhile said the exhibit“highlights how collisions among art, culture, and polarised political ideologies turned the Beirut art scene into a microcosm for larger trans-regional tensions.”

Arida noted that the“exhibition will provide a unique and insightful perspective on a complex period of history where Beirut witnessed a collision between art, culture and politics.”

The current display also opens the stage for a variety of exhibitions that would link creative activity to communities at Mathaf.“I foresee Mathaf as an inclusive space, where its unique collection would always be more and more accessible to the local and international audience,” she said.

Five sections make up“Beirut and the Golden Sixties: A Manifesto of Fragility,” which examines topics like belonging and national identity, shifting social values, formal styles and schools of thought, the connection between art and politics, and the Lebanese Civil War's effects on the Beirut arts scene.

The exhibit is curated by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, Directors of Hamburger Bahnhof National Museum of Contemporary Art in Berlin, and Natasha Gasparian, Assistant Curator.

Entry is free of charge for Qatar and GCC residents, One Pass holder and children under the age of 16, and can be booked via mathaf.org.qa.

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