This Doha exhibition will challenge your comfort zones

It might induce a shift in your paradigm, but it’s worth checking out

This Doha exhibition will challenge your comfort zones
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What if you looked at your comfort zone, most of us have them, as a state of mind instead of a physical space? A place where things feel familiar and consoling, a form of escapism perhaps? If you dwell on it for slightly longer, it begins to make perfect sense. The Gallery at VCUarts Qatar is hosting an exhibition titled Comfort Zone I (Home), showcasing the comfort zone as exactly that – a state of mind or an imaginary place where people want to retreat to from the often overwhelming reality of their everyday lives. The exhibition features works by Basma Alsharif, Khalid al Gharaballi and Setareh Shahbazi, artists with various artistic backgrounds such as photography, painting and video.

A panel discussion with the artists and curator recently took place at the University’s Atrium, moderated by Dr Bahaa Abudaya, curator of Contemporary Art at the Fire Station Artist in Residence in Doha. The artists and the curator discussed this concept at length, shedding light on the need for rootedness and belonging as a form of refuge. The exhibition highlights the ambivalent relationship people have with comfort, domesticity and privacy. It showcases the predictability of comfort but also the escapist idealism that is attached to it and that might ultimately lead to isolation.

Basma Alsharif is an artist/filmmaker who was born in Kuwait, of Palestinian origin, and raised between France, the US and the Gaza Strip. She works between cinema and installation, centering on the human condition in relation to shifting geopolitical landscapes and natural environments. She said: “As a child, there wasn’t a single place I could call home. In my experience, people build their identities around where they’ve come from or what they are connected, or disconnected to.”

Khalid al Gharaballi is a Kuwaiti artist who is based in Kuwait City. After first establishing an artistic collaboration with fellow Kuwaiti artist and musician Fatima Al Qadiri based in New York City, he relocated to Kuwait City in 2012 to help co-found the artist collective GCC. His solo work documents the urban and domestic landscapes of his native Kuwait. Setareh Shahbazi is an Iranian artist who is based in Berlin. Her solo shows were held at Tarahane Azad, Tehran, Gypsum Gallery, Cairo, 98weeks Project Space, Beirut, Contemporary Arts Forum, Santa Barbara, Galerie Sfeir-Semler, Hamburg, Montgomery, Berlin and at Karlsruher Kunstverein.

The exhibition has been curated by Daniel Berndt, whose writing has appeared in Ibraaz, Springerin, Aperture and Frieze, amongst other publications. His book Wiederholung als Widerstand? on the contextualisation of historical photographs in relation to the history of Palestine was published in 2018 by Transcript.

Comfort Zone I (Home) might induce an entire shift in your paradigm and we highly recommend passing by and checking it out.
Free. Daily 9am-5pm. The Gallery, VCUarts Qatar, Qatar Foundation (4402 0555).

WHAT IS IT...
An interesting exhibit that focuses on comfort zones

WHY GO...
To better understand the parameters that define your comfort zone

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