(MENAFN- Gulf Times) Qatar Museums (QM) recently hosted a screening of a two-part film which documents the works of renowned Icelandic-Danish artist Olafur Eliasson. The film is created by Tigerlily Production and directed by Lana Daher.
The event aimed to offer a comprehensive understanding of the artistic approach of Eliasson while fostering engaging conversations about public art, ecological consciousness, and the human role in shaping and experiencing our surroundings.
The film highlights the artist's projects in Qatar. Part one spotlights Eliasson's desert installation, Shadows travelling on the sea of the day, while part two – The curious desert – which marked its inaugural screening, focuses on the artist's first solo exhibition in the Gulf region.
Hosted at the National Museum of Qatar (NMoQ) auditorium, the event brought viewers into the artistic realm of Eliasson's work, allowing them to witness the artist's exceptional ability to merge creativity and sustainability, as well as his commitment to addressing pressing global issues through his unique installations.
Part one of the film explores Eliasson's site-specific installation located in the desert just north of Al Zubarah, Qatar.
The footage delves into the artist's exploration of perception and its impact on our understanding of reality.
Mesmerising visuals and thoughtful narration immerse viewers in the unique artistic vision of Eliasson, inviting contemplation on the relationship between perception, space, and our understanding of reality.
The second part of the film explores Eliasson's extensive exhibition titled“The curious desert”, which serves as his first solo exhibition in the Gulf region.
The exhibition looks at Eliasson's experimentation with light and colour, geometric studies, ecological awareness, and the exploration of more-than-human relationships.
It is a two-part exhibition, consisting of site-specific installations in the sabkha near the Al Thakhira Mangrove in Northern Qatar, and an extensive gallery presentation at the NMoQ.
A panel discussion after the screening featured a line-up of speakers who brought diverse perspectives and expertise to the conversation. Moderated by Lina Patmali, co-curator of The curious desert, the panel explored the intersection of art, culture, and the environment.
Among the speakers was director Lana Daher, who discussed how the different contexts of The curious desert influence the viewers' experience and understanding of the artworks, and how Eliasson's unique artistic concepts and installations translate into the medium of film.
Joining her on the panel was Jack Thomas Taylor, interim director of Northwestern University in Qatar's museum, The Media Majlis, who shared his perspective on the film as a form of communication, and the power of films or video in conveying messages and creating meaningful dialogues with viewers.
Khalifa al-Thani, a renowned Qatari artist, filmmaker, and curator, discussed his contributions to visual arts and the exploration of Arab and Qatari identity through various mediums.
Joining them online, Hadeer Omar, a new media artist and assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar, delved into her works that combine technology, storytelling, and socio-cultural themes, while sharing how the medium can effectively communicate artistic ideas and engage with audiences.
Also part of the conversation was Bouthayna Baltaji, head of Exhibitions and Heritage Exhibits at NMoQ, who shared insights on cultivating immersive and accessible visitor experiences within museum spaces.
Both parts of the film will be on view at the Mohammed Jassim Al Khulaifi Library at the NMoQ, alongside a special reading room dedicated to Eliasson, containing a broad selection of catalogues spanning the artist's career, from his first solo exhibition in the nineties to the present.
A richly illustrated publication – documenting the exhibition and its development in photographs and artist sketches – will be available later this year.
The English-Arabic book will contextualise the exhibition, with a special focus on Eliasson's site-specific installations in the Qatari desert. The themes explored in the publication will raise pertinent questions around the global climate emergency, including vulnerability, responsibility, and urgency.
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