The Embassy of the State of Qatar to the Russian Federation and Qatar Airways present the “White Sun” exhibition as part of the Cosmoscow International Contemporary Art Fair. The exhibition features photographs that are directly or indirectly related to Qatar’s historical context. Modern Qatar – a state that has made a giant modernization leap over the past 50 years – is located on Qatar Peninsula most of which is occupied by the desert. For thousands of years this area was inhabited by nomadic tribes for which the desert became the key image of their cultural code. The desert with its unique light and air environment, its vastness and unfamiliar color intensity is the primary background for the stories told by the artists participating in the “White Sun” exhibition. The “White Sand” exhibition is a phantasy-mirage that brings together images of traditional Qatari culture within contemporary context.
“Arabian Sands”, an audiovisual installation by Soundwalk Collective, and “Oasis”, a project by Danila Tkachenko, form the centerpiece of the exhibition. The “Oasis” series was created upon commission from the National Museum of Qatar as part of Year of Culture Qatar-Russia 2018. In this series, Danila explores the issues of preservation of national identity now that the world’s picture has changed following Qatar’s economic takeoff.
The audiovisual installation by Soundwalk Collective is an exploration of the acoustic environment of Qatar Peninsula, particularly, the phenomenon of the “singing sands”. Desert sand appears to “sing” as the sand particles, propelled by the wind, tend to rub against each other. The larger the amount of traveling sand – the more expressive is the sound produced thereby. Soundwalk Collective have created an imaginary geography of the desert sound as they artfully interlaced their “singing sand” recordings with oriental patterns of the Western music tradition.