Qatar National Library, in collaboration with the British Council, has presented a series of talks and art installations as part of the Qatar British Festival, which reflects on the evolving nature of art and the public realm. On November 20, Irini Papadimitriou, creative director of FutureEverything, hosted a panel talk titled ‘Edifice // Artifice: Redefining Art in the Public Realm’ as part of the festival’s ‘Reading the City’ programme.
The panel included the artist, Naho Matsuda; Layla Bacha, art specialist at Qatar Foundation; and Abdulrahman al-Ishaq, head of the Public Art Department at Qatar Museums. The speakers explored different perspectives on public art and its relevance today.
Making its debut in the Middle East and North Africa region, Matsuda’s ‘Every Thing Every Time’, a public artwork also presented in collaboration with the British Council, opened to the public at the library on November 22 .

Naho Matsuda’s ‘Every Thing Every Time’

Matsuda said, “Every day, a vast amount of data is generated by us and about us. It is processed by technologies and technologists alike, but who collects and controls this information? How is it captured and stored, and how is it used to shape our future cities? I am excited to show my installation in this exciting, new context. I am looking forward to the new narratives of Doha that ‘Every Thing Every Time’ will be producing and how these stories will be read and shared by the citizens, visitors and workers in cities.”
Matsuda’s artwork draws on data streams generated by the technologies, devices and events that happen each day in the city to create poetry. Waseem Kotoub, senior programme manager, Culture and Sport Programme, Gulf at the British Council, said: “The commission in Qatar was a perfect fit for this year’s programme, in which we explore the growing role of Public Realm Art in our cities under the theme of people and places. Visitors to the artwork at the library can see poetry written in real-time and revealed on a mechanical display.