Qatar Cultural Leader Says Heritage Can Be a Bridge to Art’s Future
This article is part of a special report on the Art for Tomorrow conferences held in Florence and Solomeo, Italy.
Doha, Qatar — The world of tomorrow feels very much alive today in Qatar’s glittering post-World Cup atmosphere.
But for Sheikh Al Mayasa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the past is also what defines Qatar. I am a speaker at the Tomorrow Conference. Sponsored by Democracy Cultural Foundation, in collaboration with The New York Times. Sheikh al-Mayassa to determine the importance of heritage across the planet, a shared sense of how the past can inform the future, and what defines the arts of the present and future. , he said that he would specifically work on ways to allow different cultures to coexist with mutual respect.
In a recent interview in a sunny office at the top of the newly renovated Museum of Islamic Art, Sheikha Al Mayassa spoke about her interest in cultural heritage and the future of art in the Middle East and around the world.
She is a member of the Qatari royal family. (Her brother, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, is the current head of the country, and her father, Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, abdicated from 1995 to 2013. ruled the country until
The family reportedly bought the world’s most expensive artwork in 2011, including Cézanne’s ‘Card Player’ for $250 million. She has been at the forefront of Qatar’s high-profile place on the arts scene, and in 2015 she helped launch Art for Tomorrow.
“When Art for Tomorrow started here in Qatar, it was a 25-year plan with two museums. We were just beginning the mission,” she said. “We brought together not only artists and creatives, but also policy makers, planners and decision makers.”
This cohesive approach is at the heart of Qatar’s vision for the future, and is most evident in the two massive museums due to open in 2030. The 560,000-square-foot Lusail Museum was designed by the Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron and holds one of his. The world’s most extensive collection of paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures, rare texts and applied arts. Many of them are from the Qatar Museum of Art’s so-called Orientalist collection of European artists depicting the Islamic world.
“Lusail Museum: Tales of a Connected World,” an exhibition that ran until Saturday at the Al Riwak Gallery near the Museum of Islamic Art, featured hundreds of works of art, many of which were from the royal collection. , as well as a model for the Lusail Museum, which is central to the ongoing development of the Lusail area, anchored in one of several stadiums built for last year’s World Cup.
Also, in 2030, the country will Art Mill MuseumIt is housed in a former mill designed by Pritzker Prize-winning Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena. A museum and arts complex located along Doha’s waterfront will incorporate a factory façade with towering silos.
“We keep the silos as part of our identity,” said Sheikh Al-Mayassa. “I think buildings create an identity for a place. Qatar is not a big country geographically, so we want to preserve it as much as possible.”
Hailing from a country not widely associated with a rich history, Sheikh al-Mayasa, who hails from a country largely uninhabited for centuries, said the peninsula’s scorching climate remained largely uninhabited year-round. He said he had an inheritance.
“If you go north of Qatar, there are UNESCO sites with archaeological sites that you can explore on foot and see how people used to live,” she explained. I think that preserving heritage is not only a building, but also a place, showing the tribes we know we are descended from.”
The country’s natural history is also celebrated at the Qatar National Museum. Its design is inspired by the desert rose. Desert roses may resemble roses in the form of sand, seawater, gypsum or barite crystals and are found in roses. Many salt pans dot this peninsula. The swirling multi-tiered façade makes the museum one of the country’s most recognizable landmarks.
“My father’s vision for the architect Jean Nouvel was to go to the desert and find something from the country’s geology and find something that could be extended to the design of the museum,” she said. He chose Desert Rose, which at the time was almost impossible to make, but technology has made it possible.”
In honoring the past, Sheikha Al Mayassa feels the future continues, even in a country where sparkling new skyscrapers are commonly represented after significant oil and gas deposits are discovered.
“I think nurturing young talent is what we do. I think it’s an investment in tomorrow,” she said. “We do it for film, art and fashion. Ultimately, artists need inspiration. We really believe that culture is the bridge that connects everyone.”
Art for Tomorrow is extremely important, she said.
“I think Art for Tomorrow will be a platform for people to meet and listen to different people and ideas,” she said. “Film, fashion, visuals, dance, music, all forms of art bring people together.”
She pointed out that this does not necessarily mean that all forms of art are acceptable in all cultures. I recalled an incident when Qatar was asked if it would consider holding a particular photo exhibition uncensored, as it is known.
“I told the woman that she is not our partner because we have curatorial conversations with people who come here because we have to respect our own norms and cultural traditions,” Sheikha Al said. Mayassa said, “I believe that culture brings people together from different backgrounds and norms and allows for constructive dialogue from the standpoint of respect. It will be over as soon as you breach it.”
Its sense of difference and similarity is rooted in convergence in a global art culture that focuses on the past, present and future, evolving in a world of constant volatility.
“I think we need a place of discourse and tolerance because I feel there is a lot of intolerance all over the world today because people think you should behave in a certain way.” “I think culture helps spread it,” she said.