All posts tagged: qatar museums authority

Bring the money to the makers: Damien Hirst and Adel Abdessemed in Doha

Damien Hirst’s RELIC at QMA in Doha leaves Fat Nancy stone cold whilst Adel Abdessemed stokes the fire of art in the Middle East.  Maybe FN wasn’t in the mood, maybe it is just that she’s seen it too many times before, maybe it was too much expectation, or perhaps it was knowing that the fly larvae had been flown in business class – but FN went into Damien Hirst’s exhibition in Doha looking to find some new insights and left feeling empty. Granted, a satisfaction of her yearning for a nostalgic flashback to the first time she saw 1000 years in London at the ‘Sensation’ exhibition was unrealistic – you cannot relive seeing that work for the first time.  That, along with versions of The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (the sharks), Mother and Child Divided (sliced cows), the medicine cabinets and experiencing the stench of the giant ashtray of fag butts in editions of Crematorium are important works that anyone with an interest in art should see, if the opportunity presents itself. His enduring fascination with the daily …

Hirst hits the Middle East with first solo exhibition in the region: FNND heads to check it out

In October Fat Nancy will be heading to Doha for the Qatar Museums Authority opening of Damien Hirst’s  ‘Relics’. Billed as the most comprehensive survey of Hirst’s work ever shown and his first solo exhibition in the Middle East – the comprehensive exhibition will include both famously iconic, and previously unseen artworks. Explaining, ‘art’s about life and it can’t really be about anything else … there isn’t anything else,’ Hirst’s work investigates and challenges contemporary belief systems, and dissects the tensions and uncertainties at the heart of human experience. ‘Relics’ will include pieces from a cross-section of Hirst’s most important series including the Spot Paintings and the Natural History series of animals preserved in formaldehyde. Also on display will be one of the most iconic and widely recognised artworks to have emerged in the past decade; the diamond encrusted skull, For the Love of God (2007). The exhibition follows in the footsteps of Hirst’s major retrospective at Tate Modern in 2012, which became the most visited solo exhibition in the gallery’s history, to mixed reviews. Curated by the internationally …

Art exhibitions move Doha closer to cultural forefront: FNND checking in from Doha

(Originally published in The National, June 2012) A giant, blow up self-portrait sculpture of Takashi Murakami adorns the foyer of Doha’s Al Riwaq Exhibition Hall. Seated in a Buddha pose, the artist’s right hand is upturned in the abhayamudra gesture of reassurance, Murakami offering his blessing for a safe passage through the visual roller-coaster that awaits. Once inside the aptly titled Murakami – Ego retrospective, the visitor is required to willingly surrender himself to the artist’s trippy world of kawaii characters and blazingly coloured manga landscapes. A large four-panelled panorama featuring the oval shaped head of Tan Tan Bo Puking aka Gero Tan (2002) decorates the whitewashed walls, his undulating tongue dripping with psychedelic lava, while in the centre of the room we are introduced to DOB – one of Murakami’s many recurrent personalities – striking a Minnie Mouse pose amid a “strange forest” of mushrooms. Any survey of Murakami, who was born in 1962 and has a PhD in Nihonga painting (traditional Japanese painting) from Tokyo University of the Arts, demands a full introduction to his recurring personages. Kai Kai …