‘Temporary Until Further Notice’: The Museum of Islamic Art and the Discursive Endeavour of Displaying Islamic Art in Qatar

Eva-Maria Tepest


Taking the case of curatorial practices at the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) in Doha, this study analyses practices of exhibiting Islamic art in Qatar. Drawing on interviews, observations and visual material collected during a stay in Doha in November and December 2015, it sheds light on MIA’s conditions, history, and present. Against the backdrop of Michel Foucault’s writings on power/knowledge, I argue that MIA cannot be understood on the basis of a dominant liberal cultural policy paradigm. Rather, it needs to be understood as ‘a dynamic and contingent multiplicity’ (Barad 2007, 147). Notwithstanding, this multiplicity meaningfully relates to Qatar’s shifting political priorities as well as discourses on Islamic art and the exhibition.


qatar; Islamic art; cultural policy, museum, Foucault

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.29311/mas.v17i2.3043

Copyright (c) 2019 Eva-Maria Tepest

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Museum and Society

ISSN 1479-8360