The Arab Museum of Modern Art (Mathaf), located in Doha, Qatar, is home to a large collection of art from Arab cultures from North Africa to Turkey. The museum is currently hosting the exhibition “Beirut and the Golden Sixties: A Manifesto of Fragility.” The exhibition explores the turbulent political situation of the 1960s and the artistic responses to the influx of international modernism as the Lebanese capital flourished in international prosperity.
After gaining independence from France in 1943, Lebanon established a parliamentary democracy, recognized a variety of ethnic religions, and prospered from the influx of international culture and capital. However, the accumulation of unresolved sectarian antagonisms led to a 15-year civil war from 1975 to 1990. To this day, Beirut remains embroiled in a conflict involving Syrian, Israeli, and Palestinian forces, as well as Western powers.
In this historical context, the exhibition aims to raise questions about Beirut’s past and present. It focuses on how art in Beirut has reflected the violence and the role of art amid suffering. The exhibition features paintings, sculptures, and multimedia works by 37 artists who primarily lived and worked in Lebanon during the 20th century, including Farid Aouad (1924-1982), Shafic Abboud (1926-2004), Etel Adnan (1925-2021), and Dia al-Azzawi (b. 1939).
Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art
Beirut and the Golden Sixties: A Manifesto of Fragility
March 17, 2023 – August 5, 2023
The Taipei Fine Arts Museum (TFAM) is presenting “Re-Present,” a solo exhibition by Kao Chung-Li (b. 1958). Kao Chung-Li is a Taiwanese media artist whose 40-year career has focused on the mutual influence of human perception and audiovisual technology. The exhibition encompasses early media paintings to recent kinetic installations. The Chinese title “Life Determines Consciousness” is an homage to Marx’s dictum “their social being determines their consciousness.
Chung-Li collects and experiments with various audiovisual machines and also builds his own. For example, among the artworks is the ‘Cinema in a Suitcase’ series, which modified the 19th-century animation machine phenakistoscope. Through his work, the artist examines the technical history of media art, and contemplates new ways of production, ultimately engaging with the impact of audiovisual technology on human consciousness.
Re-Present: Kao Chung-Li
March 25, 2023 – June 25, 2023
The Louvre Abu Dhabi presents “Bollywood Superstars: A Short Story of Indian Cinema” through June 4. The Louvre Abu Dhabi was established in 2007 as a partnership between France and the United Arab Emirates. It showcases the region’s cultural heritage, as well as artifacts and artworks from around the world on loan from France.
India’s film industry rivals Hollywood on a global scale. “Bollywood Superstars” is an anthropological exhibition focusing on cinema in Asia, its diversity, and the cultural origins of Indian cinema. The show features various films ranging from commercial Bollywood films to Tamil and socially engaged Bengali cinema. The exhibition also includes more than 80 artworks that reveal India’s rich tradition of image-making, including shadow puppetry, silent film, dance, and theater.
Bollywood Superstars: A Short Story of Indian Cinema
January 24, 2023 – June 4, 2023