Q. What role do you think cities play in the lives of artists, creatives and designers?
Massimiliano Gioni: The history of contemporary art – actually the entire history of art – is also a history of cities, where artists and patrons come together. Just to simplify, brutally, think of Florence in the Renaissance, Paris at the beginning of the twentieth century, New York after the Second World War. In recent years, art historians and curators have encouraged us to think of a much more polyphonic view of art history. The notion of one single center dominating the art discourse is by now completely disregarded, but that has resulted in a polycentric view of art, in which multiple cities and multiple centers develop different and parallel languages simultaneously.
Doha has emerged as an important center in the past few years and quite interestingly it is also looking at the histories of other cities: Rome for Forever Valentino, but also Baghdad for the show Baghdad: Eye's Delight at the Museum of Islamic Art.