Mathaf unveils artist Obaidi’s creativity

 25 Sep 2016 - 11:51

Mathaf unveils artist Obaidi’s creativity
Mahmoud Obaidi with his collections.

The Peninsula

Doha: Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha has dedicated a part of its museum for the display of the permanent collection titled ‘Fair Skies’ by Iraqi- Canadian contemporary artist Mahmoud Obaidi.

On show from September 22 2016 – January 8 2017 Fair Skies curated by Mathaf’s Curator Leonore-Namkha Beschi is on view in Mathaf’s Project Space. It was said to be dedicated to emerging artists and curators’ experimentations with new ideas and forms of presentation.

Presented by Qatar Museum under the leadership of its Chairperson HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Fair Skies is inspired by the artist’s own experience over airport security and can be read as a social, political, and cultural critique of stereotypical assumptions. 

The installation is the continuation of a prior project by Obaidi titled How Not To Look Like a Terrorist (2010). Configured as a commercial booth, Fair Skies is made up of vending machines, plastic figurines regrouped in miniature scenes and a video. A branded make-up kit contains hair dye, skin whitener and coloured contact lenses, all designed to create a physical transformation for its user. The four miniature scenes play out in the video, recreating Obaidi’s encounter with a security officer at the time he was approached waiting to board a plane. The plastic figurines, which are modelled on the artist’s own appearance, raise the question of individuality within the masses. 

The installation comes ahead of a major exhibition by Obaidi opening on 18th October at the QM Gallery in Katara Cultural Village. In the exhibition, entitled Fragments, the artist retraces the ‘organised chaos’ that led to the destruction of Iraq and presents a response to witnessing the city of Baghdad fall piece by piece. In his work Obaidi recreates what has been stolen or destroyed to try to piece the city back together again. 

The exhibition shows how Obaidi is grappling with the destruction of an 8,000-year-old civilisation, which has been laid waste in less than a fraction of that time.

Opening hours (Free entry)
Sunday           11 am – 6 pm
Monday          Closed
Tuesday         11 am – 6 pm
Wednesday   11 am – 6 pm
Thursday       11 am – 6 pm
Friday             3 pm – 8 pm
Saturday        11 am – 6 pm