When it comes to art, everything is open to interpretation. Individually, what we see in a piece of art may not have been what the artist initially intended. But the new exhibition on display at Doha Fire Station is about something we are all familiar with. The places we lay our heads and binge-watch Netflix: our homes.
Curated by Italian artist Giovanni Innella and Dutch artist Agata Jaworska, Domestic Affairs explores the home as a representation of who we are, and as the interface of each part of our lives – social, economic and political.
It looks at the home as a filter for our attitudes towards the rest of the world, and demonstrates the ways in which our homes are more than just physical shelters; rather, that they represent our states of mind.
It also raises interesting questions about how we operate inside and outside the boundaries of privacy. “While we blur our houses on Google Street View, we invite unknown guests to rent one of our rooms for a night or two,” says Innella.
“We bring the public life [into] our homes and our private domestic life [into] the public. Yet we struggle [to balance] privacy and popularity, trust and distrust, engagement and retreat.”
This is the third edition of the exhibition, which displays pieces from internationally-acclaimed artists, designers and studios, as well as local designers in residence at the Fire Station and students at VCUQatar.
It’s an eclectic mix of more than 70 exhibits, spread over several types of medium. There are paintings, videos, installations and contemporary art, in addition to objects and commercially-available products from design studios – the “Anti-loneliness ramen bowl” (pictured left), for example, created by Taipei-based studio Miso Soup Design.
Other work on display includes simple, beautifully designed furniture as well as futuristic, hypothetical designs for home gadgets by British duo James Auger and Jimmy Loizeau.
Free. Until May 15. Open Sun-Mon, Wed 10.30am-5.30pm; Thu and Sat noon-8pm, Fri 2pm-8pm. Garage Gallery, Doha Fire Station (4422 4444).
Four more artsy activities for May
Art and medicine
An exhibition by students at VCUQatar and Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar on the intersection of art and medicine, seeking to unite the two "disparate but connected practices".
Free. Until Sat May 14. HBKU Student Centre, www.qatar.vcu.edu.
Head to Katara Cultural Village’s Katara Art Studio and learn to make origami birds and flowers at this fun, family-friendly workshop.
QR100 per person. May 14 and 28, 4.30pm-8.30pm. Katara Art Studio, www.katara.net.
An exhibition which narrates the story of Qatar and its people through everything from archeological objects to photographs. Book in advance.
Free. Until June 7. Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani Museum, www.fbqmuseum.org.
Tafaseel design showcase
See two collections of art and design by artist Bachir Mohamad, including furniture designs that reflect details of local architecture and aspects of Arabic calligraphy.
Until Fri May 20. Katara Art Centre, www.kataraartcenter.com.