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Monday, March 20, 2023

Qatar Museums opens the Beirut Sixties: The Golden Age exhibition as part of the activities of the Qatar Creates initiative

Under the patronage of Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad Al Thani, Chair of the Board of Trustees of Qatar Museums, today, at Mathaf: The Arab Museum of Modern Art, the exhibition / Beirut Sixties: The Golden Age / was opened, as part of the activities of the initiative / Qatar Creates /, the national cultural initiative that continues its activities throughout the year. The year, which sponsors and promotes cultural activities in Qatar, and celebrates its diversity, and continues until August 5. The exhibition sheds light on an important chapter in the modern history of Beirut between 1958 and 1978, and includes more than 225 artworks and 300 archival documents brought from 36 collections from 16 cities around the world. It also reflects the intertwining of art, culture and contradictions across the region in that difficult period. At the end of which the Lebanese Civil War broke out in 1975. Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani said, in a statement to Qatar Museums, "One of the most important roles of art is to recall or imagine a place that no longer exists, and one of the many important roles of art museums is to recreate this place, even if only temporarily, so that those who have left it or moved away from it can stand for a moment and contemplate it."considering that "Mathaf: The Arab Museum of Modern Art is a perfect example of this place, as its collections, exhibitions, and programs include the visions of artists and the voices of thinkers from the Arab world, many of whom have personally suffered from the pain of displacement and exodus.". Her Excellency explained that the exhibition “Beirut Sixties: The Golden Age” weaves these elements together, as it is a distinguished, influential and thoughtful collection of artwork and documents, many of which belong to artists whose works are displayed in Mathaf collections, describing a place that was amazing and turbulent, and despite its loss and destruction, we cannot forget Beirut flourishing global character in the period from 1958 to 1975". For her part, Zeina Arida, Director of Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, pointed out that the exhibition paves the way for a series of other exhibitions in Mathaf that play a role in linking artistic production with society, as the museum’s unique and distinctive collection is available to residents of Qatar and visitors from all over the world. The exhibition / Beirut Sixties: The Golden Age / adds to the exhibition hall 8 works from the museum’s collection and a number of archival documents that illustrate the artists’ practices. The exhibition is curated by Sam Bardawil and Tal Filrath Mudiri "Hamburger Bahnhof"Natasha Gasparian, Associate Curator, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Berlin. It presents the works of a group of famous artists such as Etel Adnan, Auguette El Khoury Calan, Paul Guiragossian, Salwa Raouda Choucair and Shafiq Abboud, in addition to well-known artists in the region such as Adel Sagheer, Sissi Sursock, Nadia Saikali, Rafik Sharaf and others. It also presents a new multimedia installation commissioned by Joanna Hadjitomas and Khalil Joreige. about the devastating 2020 explosion in Beirut, highlighting the effects of violence on art and the power of creativity in the face of chaos.

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