swalif: qatari art
between memory and modernity
August 14, 2011 – October 29, 2011
Senior Curatorial Advisor Yousef Ahmad with assistant curators Mariam Helmy and Fatima Mostafawi and exhibition designer Reem Al Thani.
Swalif celebrated more than twenty of Qatar's most influential artists and four decades of art production with a new selection from the collection of Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art.
The Arabic word "swalif" suggests friendly, informal conversations and stories. Swalif invited visitors to explore their own responses to Qatar's art story and the relationships between modernity, memory and art. Artworks are presented in roughly chronological order from the 1960s to the early 2000s, with some thematic groupings to illustrate particular moments in Qatar's art history.
Swalif also celebrated the process of representing and collaborating with the artists whose work is on display. The generous engagement of many of these artists with Mathaf in advance of the exhibition has helped us historicize the roots and development of the Qatari art scene.
We hope Swalif helped inspire further conversations and links between Mathaf and the local art community.