April 8, 2014

Spring programming and UCLQurates

UCL Qatar
UCLQ, Is the sea a woman?, 2014. Photograph. Courtesy of UCLQurates. © UCLQurates.

UCLQurates: A Qatar-based platform for emerging curators

Two exhibitions in Doha produced by MA Museum and Gallery Practice students at UCL Qatar are tackling what it means to link Qatari culture to transnational networks of contemporary art, in order to foster cultural dialogue. The exhibitions Ana Arabi? and Is the Sea a Woman? represent the culmination of a one-year intensive graduate degree programme that addresses curating and museum management theoretically and practically.

Ana Arabi?
offers a space to explore contemporary Arab art and its relationship with identity. It can be seen as a dialogue between the artworks whilst questioning the process of reaching and defining a sense of belonging. In order to absorb this ambiguous subject matter the exhibition introduces four key frameworks of identity: the geographical, the political, the religious and the socio-cultural, in an attempt to understand why we continue to ask, what is Arab identity?

Further consideration of these frameworks is developed in a series of public talks with leading cultural speakers to be held at Katara Art Center from 30 March to 12 April; the talks feature Mr. Tariq Al Jaidah, artist Khalid Albaih and academic Dr Karen Exell.

Is the Sea a Woman
? has been developed by UCL Qatar’s MA students in response to an exhibition of Etel Adnan’s work, Etel Adnan In All Her Dimensions, curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art. Etel Adan’s work revolves around many melodic themes, poetry and the sea with the ever-present theme of the feminine touch in her lines, colour, and approaches to these elements. The responding exhibition aims to connect the dimensions of the artist’s work and Qatari traditions of pearl diving and sea faring and of the many brave men and their beloved women who waited for their safe return. This exhibition is open to the public from 4 April to 2 May.


As part of these exhibitions, UCL Qatar’s 2014 MA Museum and Gallery Practice students have established UCLQuratesa curating platform for future projects and dialogue regarding the development of professional practice in the museum sector of Qatar and globally.

The MA Museum and Gallery Practice at UCL Qatar is a competitive and selective programme that brings together graduate students from Qatar, the Middle East and around the world, creating a unique forum for cross-cultural discourse and a springboard for developing expertise in heritage practices, with particular emphasis on the emerging Gulf arts scene. Twenty-four students are enrolled in the 2013–14 class. Online applications for entry in September are currently open via the UCL Qatar website. The application deadline is 1 May.

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