Tea with Nefertiti: The Making of the Artwork by the Artist, the Museum and the Public

Mathaf - Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha, Qatar
17 Nov 2012 - 31 Mar 2013

‘Tea with Nefertiti’  explores the mechanisms by which artworks come to acquire a range of meanings and functions that can embody a number of diverse narratives.

By exploring the example of the contested histories of many Egyptian Museum collections, the exhibition concerns itself with the critique of museology, the staging of the artwork, the writing of art-historical narratives and the employment of mechanisms of visual and literary display as a means of forming, informing and framing cultural otherness. Curated by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, ‘Tea with Nefertiti’  features 25 international contemporary artists/collectives, including Ghada Amer, Gilbert & George, Vik Muniz, and William Kentridge, alongside a selection of modernist artists such as Modigliani, Giacometti, Moukhtar and Sabbagh. Also on view is a number of Pharaonic, Coptic, Islamic and Orientalist works. It reflects on the process of appropriation, de-contextualization and re-semanticisation that an artwork undergoes as it travels through time and place. In doing so, it unpacks the complex relationships that exist between such artworks, the artists who first made them and the institutions that exhibited them.

‘Tea with Nefertiti’  will travel to the Institut du Monde Arabe (Paris), where it will be complemented by an academic conference organized by Mathaf and the Institut National de l’Historie de l’Art (INHA), then travel to the Centre for Fine Arts, BOZAR (Brussels).