Scripts to see and images to read: The new wall painting by Mexican artist Said Dokins in Doha, Qatar.
Qatar has been marked by the exploration of various artistic and cultural practices in recent years. In Doha, as part of the renovation of public spaces, Qatar Museums has entrusted a series of urban interventions by prestigious international artists, namely Damien Hirst (The Miraculous Journey), Louise Bourgeois (Maman), the photographs of Anne Geddes or the intervention of El Seed.
On this occasion, the Department of Public Art of Qatar, under the curatorship of Sarah Foryame and in collaboration with Worldwide Walls (POW! WOW!), an international urban art festival founded by Jasper Wong in 2010 in Hawaii, presents for the first time in the area of Mena, a series of interventions with local artists as well as from the Persian Gulf region and overseas.
This initiative is aimed at making certain contributions to the reassessment of public spaces through art and show an openness towards urban art never seen before in the country. Arco. Abdulrahman Ahmad Al Ishaq, Director of Public Art at Qatar Museums, put forward ‘Qatar’s street art scenery has gathered momentum in recent years through various endeavours aimed to display art beyond single four walls and make it accessible to all. We are thrilled to be the exclusive regional hosts of the international POW! WOW! event. A festival to support a global network of artists whose artworks will undoubtedly add vibrancy to urban walls in Al Sadd Metro Station, a busy and heavily pedestrianized area based in the heart of Doha.’
Right at the entrance to the Al Sadd metro area, there is his intervention entitled ‘The Magic Square’. In this wall painting, Said Dokins investigates abstract, arabesque, and medieval forms of writing using contemporary media and materials such as spray paint, customized paintbrushes, and rollers, while continuing to base his work on practices such as graffiti and calligraphic techniques.
Likewise, Dokins has found a fundamental thread in the ritual of the act of writing. His body of work includes a deep reflection on the sacred, time and memory, as well as the exploration of geometric shapes, thereby making his personal writing system a suggestive game between the linguistic sign and the calligraphic stain, moving the gestural qualities of calligraphy beyond language, towards a monumental abstraction.