Contemporary works commissioned by artists including Istanbul-based Ali Kazma and French-born Yasmina Benabderrahmane will be on display.
All art lovers are counting down for Qatar’s spectacular Art Mill Museum, set to open in 2030, as it works to transform the country into the region’s most prominent art-hub.
Now, Doha is about to give a glimpse of the museum.
This month, an exhibition featuring works from The Art Mill Museum, a grand new Modern and contemporary art institution scheduled to open in Doha in 2030, was shown at two venues in Qatar.
The Qatar Flour Mill Warehouse and Al Najada Heritage House #15, Doha, are scheduled to host the opening of the preview show, titled Art Mill Museum 2030, from 24 October until 30 March 2023.
According to a statement, the show showcase “the architecture [of the Art Mill Museum] by the Chilean studio Elemental, led by the Pritzker Prize-winning architect Alejandro Aravena.”
The exhibition Art Mill Museum 2030 is curated by Aurélien Lemonier, Art Mill Museum Curator of Architecture, Design and Gardens, with Maryam Hassan Al Thani, Curator, Qatar Museums Exhibitions Department. The exhibition’s Project Manager is Malak Hassan, Qatar Museums Exhibitions Department. Commissions for the exhibition have been managed by Clémence Bergal, Art Mill Museum Head of Collections and Commissions.
A variety of contemporary art commissions by artists like French-born Yasmina Benabderrahmane, Frenchman François-Xavier Gbré, Istanbul-based Ali Kazma, and Qatar-based artists Amal Al Muftah and Shaima Al-Tamimi will be featured in the exhibition.
In order to give a taste of the types of works that will be included in the collection, the artists have been asked to produce films and images “establishing the parallels between the flour mill and the future museum,” according to the organisers.
Among them is The Talking Mills, a collection of images taken by Gbré depicting a Doha flour mill in use (2022).
In an accompanying journal, the artist wrote: “I just went into the place and listened to it, smelt it. I wanted the pictures to look like the sound, so this was also the idea of the process. I think the sound is really important, even in the pictures with the truck releasing grain.”
“I was living with the workers there, and I tried to follow their reasoning and understand how the final product is made. I came across a machine that was undergoing maintenance. The coiled part that I was able to photograph looks like a Chanel belt! I was so lucky,” Gbré added, revealing that his collection will be displayed in the museum.
Meanwhile, Al Najada Heritage House #15 will feature a piece by Lahore-based artist Hamra Abbas. Flowers: Gardens of Paradise 2 is based on frescoes from the Wazir Khan mosque in Lahore that date to the 17th century.
In an interview with The Art Newspaper, the artist said the piece is influenced by European style.
“These frescos portray a paradisiacal garden, examples of which can also be seen in other imperial Mughal era architecture,” he said.
“This work was commissioned by the museum two years ago; it is already part of the collection.”
In a press release earlier this year, Qatar Museums said that Catherine Grenier, the director of the Fondation Giacometti in Paris, developed “the vision and the definition of the museum”.
Grenier organised the Picasso-Giacometti exhibition at the Doha Fire Station in 2017, which featured more than 120 pieces by the two artists.
“A pioneering institution in the non-Western world, [the Art Mill Museum] will represent the modern and contemporary arts of all regions of the globe on an equal basis, engaging local and international audiences alike through multiple narratives of art history,” Qatar Museums said.
Over the past two decades, Qatar has expanded its cultural sphere and launched a tremendously ambitious museum expansion program.
The National Museum of Qatar, created for an undisclosed sum by French architect Jean Nouvel, opened its doors in 2019 for the public, revealing pieces that showcase the country’s history in a capturing story-telling style.