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Friday, March 5, 2021

Exhibit showcases MIA using centuries-old photograpic techniques

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(Images copyright Antje Hanebeck / MIA)

A new photography display at the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) aims to show the distinctive Doha landmark in a different light.

Radiant is an exhibit of 20 black-and-white photos shot by German artist Antje Hanebeck. Commissioned to mark the fifth anniversary of the MIA, it highlights the building’s exterior architectural features and interior areas using a centuries-old engraving method known as heliography or photogravure.

This technique involves transferring images from film onto copper plates, which are then washed with chemicals to etch the photograph onto the metallic surface. The plate is then dipped in ink and pressed on high-quality paper, producing images with dramatic contrasts between light and dark tones.

Speaking to Doha News, Hanebeck explained the meaning behind the exhibition’s name:

“Radiant means shining. In German … it (also) means a point in the sky where meteor showers originate.”

Along with Hanebeck’s images, the exhibition also features some of the writings of Ibn al-Haytham, a 10th and 11th-century Arab scholar. Often called the father of modern optics, al-Haytham speculated on the physical nature of light and explored physical phenomena such as rainbows, shadows and eclipses.

Radiant is the MIA’s first contemporary art exhibition and runs until March 29.

Will you check out the exhibition? Thoughts?

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