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re:collections

From September 14 to December 17, 2022

Exhibit Opening Date

September 14, 2022 at 5:30pm

Curator(s)

Yasmeen Suleiman

Artist(s)

Amena Al-Yousef
Christto + Andrew
Fatma and Reem Al-Sehlawi 
Markus Elblaus
Nayla Al-Mulla

Location

The Gallery at VCUarts Qatar

Acknowledgment

Exhibition Design by: Meera Badran, Yasmeen Suleiman and Abdul Rahman Anwar
Production Assistant: Josh Bell
Special Thanks to: Isabelle St Louis and Maryam Al Dabbagh

How do you sum up a place?

re:collections attempts to unpack the infinite readings, interpretations, and translations that occur when thinking of place, memory, and time. It brings together a diverse group of creatives who investigate context through the natural and built environment and its social and cultural layers. What results is a collection of collections, varied in its inquiries, depictions, mediums, and processes. The exhibition features works by Amena Al-Yousef, Christto + Andrew, Fatma and Reem Al Sehlawi with Atlas Bookstore, Markus Elblaus, Nayla Al-Mulla, and Simone Muscolino with the Moving Postcards Project.

re:collections invites visitors to experience a grounded, complex, nuanced, and extraordinary place. It opens up urgent and necessary conversations without offering conclusions, allowing different translations to emerge.

First collaboration of artist Sara Sadik in Qatar.
Sara Sadik, Shour Beauty, Video, 2018, ©SaraSadik

Curator statement

By Yasmeen Suleiman

When approached to curate this exhibition, the only parameter I was given was to showcase locally based artists. I reflected on locality and context through a fascination for how people experience a shared place and time differently. How do you sum up a place? An inexhaustible question for a place with remarkable endurance and stamina for change. We may share places fleetingly in a layover, temporarily for work, long-term with family, or permanently as citizens. Undeniably, it’s the people that give soul and substance to a place.

This exhibition attempts to unpack the infinite readings, interpretations, and translations that occur when thinking of place, memory, and time. It brings together a diverse group of creatives who investigate context through the natural and built environment and its social and cultural layers. What results is a collection of collections, varied in its inquiries, depictions, mediums, and processes. The exhibition features work by Amena Al-Yousef, Christto + Andrew, Fatma and Reem Al Sehlawi with Atlas Bookstore, Markus Elblaus, Nayla Al-Mulla, and Simone Muscolino with the Moving Postcards Project.

In all the works exhibited, time plays a significant role. They have all been produced within the past decade. A decade in a place that has witnessed monumental changes at the threshold of hosting one of the largest world events. Amena, Fatma, Reem, and Simone’s works and installations have an archival quality, an anxious attempt to hold on or as a means of access and reference for future generations. Markus and Nayla present works frozen in time, a snapshot and account of a particular place and time. Christto + Andrew’s work speculates and constructs fictional and futuristic visions by collapsing past, present, and future.

In this place, I have grown to cherish being immersed in multiple perspectives and nurtured by them. It is the only reality I’ve known and the only thing that feels like home. I attempted to curate this exhibition in the same spirit. re:collections invites visitors to experience a grounded, complex, nuanced, and extraordinary place. It opens up urgent and necessary conversations without offering conclusions, allowing different translations to emerge.

You, being here, are a part of the recollections.
©ChristtoAndrew.Hamour.2 014

We may share places fleetingly in a layover, temporarily for work, long-term with family, or permanently as citizens. Undeniably, it’s the people that give soul and substance to a place.

- Curator Yasmeen Suleiman
JAMEL SHABAZZ_Radio Man, Flatbush, Brooklyn, NYC 1980_Chromogenic print_Edition of 9 plus 2 AP_35.6 x 27.9 cm (14 x 11 in.)
Jamel Shabazz, 'Brooklyn in the House', Lower East Side, Manhattan, NYC, 1982, Archival inkjet print, 35.6 x 27.9 cm ©Jamel Shabazz, Galerie Bene Taschen
Delancey Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan was a known shopping hub during much of the 1980s. There you could find the latest urban fashion at a discounted rate. I met these young men from Brooklyn as they made their way down the large stretch of mom and pop stores looking for the best ”buys.

Jamel Shabazz, 'Brooklyn in the House', Lower East Side, Manhattan, NYC, 1982, Archival inkjet print, 35.6 x 27.9 cm ©Jamel Shabazz, Galerie Bene Taschen

Biographies

AmenaAlYousef_From The Land_2019-2021 copy
@amenaalyousef

Amena Al-Yousef is an interdisciplinary artist whose work focuses on the subject of human interaction with nature. She considers her artistic practice to be a continuous study that helps her understand nature, and the change in human perception and approach towards it, especially with the rise of technology. She graduated with a BFA in Painting and Printmaking from VCUarts Qatar in 2019, before completing an Art Residency at Doha Fire Station in 2019. Her work What Remains was showcased in AIR 5: Grey Times.
Christto + Andrew
@christto_andrew
www.christtoandrew.com

Christto & Andrew ( Christian Sánchez Díaz, 1985 and Andrew Jay Weir, 1987 ) are an artistic duo from Puerto Rico and South Africa based in Doha, Qatar and Copenhagen, Denmark. Their collaboration started in 2012 while meeting in Barcelona, Spain as students. They work across various mediums including photography, installation and film. Christto & Andrew first gained international acclaim with their inclusion of the 2014 Foam Magazine “Talent Issue” and have since exhibited in solo exhibitions, group shows, biennials and art fairs worldwide, including the Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow (2015), Unseen Photo Fair, Amsterdam (2016), NRW – Forum Düsseldorf (2017) and have been included in publications such as The New Yorker, Dazed magazine and the British Journal of Photography. Most recently they have been commissioned by the New Yorker Magazine to create three images for their yearly fictions issue. Christto Sanz received a BA from the Escuela De Artes Plásticas in San Juan Puerto Rico before completing his Master in Visual Communication and photography from Elisava, Barcelona Spain. Andrew Weir holds a BBA from Universitat Ramon Llull, Spain and an MA in Museum & Gallery Practice from University College London – Qatar.
@atlasbookstore
www.atlasbookstore.org

Atlas Bookstore was founded in 2015 by Fatma & Reem Al Sehlawi. In its first space at the Doha Sheraton Hotel, the bookstore offered a reference library and sold publications focusing on the architecture and urbanism of West Asia & North Africa. The bookstore performed as a research engine for different projects such as the Making Doha exhibition at the National Museum of Qatar. Specific selections of the bookstore’s collections have traveled to exhibitions in Kuwait, Bahrain, Dubai, and the Vitra Design Museum. The Atlas collection has since then expanded to, not only include the region’s built environments, but also the histories of its natural environments and their futures, which will be offered in the bookstore’s new space. Reem Ibrahim Al Sehlawi is an Islamic environmental ethicist, researcher, and textile artist. She is the founder of SEAM Tailoring (2017) and co-founder of Atlas Bookstore (2015). Fatma Ibrahim Al Sehlawi is an architect, urbanist, and beekeeper. She is the co-founder of Atlas Bookstore (2015) and Studio Imara (2017). Fatma has been leading the Qatar Blueprint project at the Office of H.E. Chairperson of Qatar Museums, planning the future of Qatar’s cultural activations and nation branding.
Markus Elblaus
@markus.elblaus

Markus Elblaus is a Swedish photographer living in Doha since 2007. Holding a degree in fine arts from the University of Gothenburg, School of Photography, he works as a professional photographer with a special interest in documenting architecture and, in particular, Qatar’s ever changing urban landscape. Markus sees beauty in the mundane and his style of photography can be described as straightforward and minimal with a play of symmetry. He is deeply inspired by the artists Bernt and Hilda Becher and their work documenting industrial structures in Germany. Markus’s love for the sublime colors in the Qatari landscape; tones of grey, beige, and shades of pink moving towards orange, is a genuine passion and he considers this place to be one of the most beautiful on earth.

@naylaxalyan

Nayla studied Fashion Design at VCUQ and went on to specialize in Pattern-Making and Garment Production, coupled with a master’s in Design Research from Central Saint Martins and London College of fashion.

Her past experience includes working on the military uniform project at the Center For Research in Design, as a garment technician at Qatar’s first luxury brand Qela, and Assistant Professor at VCUQ. Currently, Nayla works as a consultant to start-up brands meeting them where they are on their journey from ideation and financial planning to product development and production.

In 2010 Nayla did her first Art Residency at the Fire Station followed by a second in 2021.
Simone Muscolino
@muscolino
Simonemuscolino.com

Simone Muscolino is the Director of the Art Foundation Department at VCUarts Qatar. He is a multidisciplinary designer and video maker with a research practice concerned with interaction design and time-based media.

He co-founded and partnered Interaction Design Lab, a Milan based company working in the crossover between technology and design. He taught at Architectural Association London, NABA Milan, Strelka Institute Moscow, IED Rome, Domus Academy Milan, Fachhochschule University of Applied Science Düsseldorf.

Simone’s works and installations have been exhibited at venues such as the Venice Biennale, Milano Triennale, Victoria & Albert Museum in London, Beijing Biennale of Architecture, and Doha Fire Station.

Biography

Yasmeen Suleiman
Yasmeen Suleiman
Designer and Head of Materials Library
@y_ns

Yasmeen Suleiman is a Palestinian designer and educator based in Qatar. She earned a BFA (Hons.) in Interior Design with a Minor in Art History and an MFA in Design from VCUarts Qatar. Her research explores concepts of temporality and permanence within the preservation of culture, crafts, architecture, and design. She frequently consults and mentors in design and materials-related topics. She was co-chair of Tasmeem Doha 2019, the international art and design biennial hosted by VCUarts Qatar, and formerly worked with HOK on the Hamad International Airport project.

Currently serving as Head of Materials Library and Assistant Professor at VCUarts Qatar, she has a curiosity and appreciation for how materials transform ideas into physical existence.

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ISSUE No.
5

Local Reflections

SEP 2022–JAN 2023
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