Dohas for Doha

Five Videos, LED screens, variable dimensions

Still More World, Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art | Doha (2019)

Dohas woven by Kabir,

Rahim sees them in the Stars

Raqs finds them everywhere,

in Doha and in Mars

This doha talks in shadow speech

Where words fail Raqs, let commas reach

When nothing else will do, then Raqs

Try a line or two of madness,

which is but sanity, redux

In the forenoon read a doha, and then proceed

Raqs, for time to flower,

each moment’s desiring is the seed

Raqs waits for times to ripen

Today’s loads, let tomorrow lighten.

The video works “Dohas for Doha” are illuminated proverbs that play with linguistics, light, and the transmission of knowledge. A doha is a poetic form that consists of four lines, a poetic technique popularized by the medieval Hindi poet and mystic Kabir. Changes to the sequences of words in these phrases creates multiple meanings and linguistic puns that refer to the city of Doha and Raqs in encoded, poetic messages, providing another layer to the word ‘doha’, which in Hindi means ‘double’.