"East-West/West-East" is a new permanent art installation created for Qatar by Richard Serra. The work, consisting out of four steel plates that are about 15 m tall is located about 60km outside of Doha in the Qatari Desert at the Brouq Nature Reserve near Zekreet. The massive plates span 1km of the area, and “is set in a natural corridor formed by gypsum plateaus,” the Qatar Museums Authority said in a statement. Chairperson Sheikha Al Mayassa unveiled the artwork during a press event on Tuesday afternoon. Serra was quoted as saying the area “has sea in the East and sea in the West. The pieces connect the two seas and the two parts of this ancient landscape.” He added: “The placement (of the pieces) is not geometrical, it’s topological; they can only be placed where they are to achieve the curvature of the land. If one walks through the pieces; he will understand not only the rhythm of himself in relationship to the landscape but also the rhythm of himself in relationship to the height and the length of the pieces.” The new installation follows in the footsteps of Serra’s other works, which tend to revolve around the concepts of space, weight, mass and gravity, and are comprised of steel, his material of choice. The artist is known for constructing enormous site-specific installations, including 7, a 24m (80-foot) high sculpture composed of seven steel sheets, which was erected at the MIA Park in 2011.
“East-West/West-East” is a departure from some of the other pieces that the QMA has recently commissioned, including a series of giant babies (Damien Hirst‘s “Miraculous journey” outside of the Sidra Medical and Research Center) and a statue of head-butting athletes (Adel Abdessemed’s “Coup de Tête”).