Now in view in the desert to the north of Doha is Prada Oasis and Damien Hirst’s Pharmacy Juice Bar. The artistic project is a collaboration between Damien Hirst, Miccia Prada and Her Excellency Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad Al-Thani, chairperson of Qatar Museums Authority (QMA). It took place on 10 October in conjunction with Hirst’s show Relics, a major retrospective of the British artist’s work held at the Al Riwaq art space.
The creative disciplines of art and fashion represented by Hirst and Prada first came together at the Art/Fashion exhibition, curated by Germano Celant and Ingrid Sischy in 1996 at Forte Belvedere, Florence and, the following year, at the Guggenheim Museum
SoHo, New York. They have since developed an ongoing dialogue that transcends the boundaries of their respective disciplines.
As QMA Director of Public Art As Jean Paul Engelen points out, the artistic project “sought to create an entirely unexpected, out-of-the-ordinary place which, for just two days, provided a totally unique
experience in the Arab landscape.”
Located within this creative oasis in the desert is Damien Hirst’s Pharmacy Juice Bar, a reinterpretation of his famous Pharmacy
Restaurant, designed by the artist in London in 1998. The installation reflects the traditions of a Bedouin tent and reinterprets it in the style of a modern day pharmacy.
Many themes from the original restaurant design have been included such as light boxes illustrating the four elements of earth, air, fire and water, while two human skeletons hang either side of the bar area – also a large lightbox with repeated pill print. The tent fabric has been
printed with a pharmaceutical pattern, both on the interior and exterior. The tent exterior, as well as having the pharmaceutical print fabric, has a large neon sign in the style of the four colored carboys with the Pharmacy Juice Bar logo.
The Prada Oasis represents a ideal Prada store in the desert and is built inside a bayat shaar, a traditional tent made of sheep hair. The interior features a display of Entomology, a limited-production range of bags co-designed by Miuccia Prada and Damien Hirst. The store is decorated with a black-and-white chequered carpet, a green velvet curtain hung with mirrors, and Verner Panton sofas reproduced exclusively for Prada.
The Entomology bag is an absurdist object that invokes “entomophobia”, the fear of insects. It playfully poses the question, “How much are you prepared to bypass your anxiety for the sake of a bag?”
Entomology bags were sold on 9 and 10 October through a silent auction over two days at the Prada Oasis and Damien Hirst’s Pharmacy Juice Bar 9 and 10 October 2013. Proceeds from the sale of the Entomology bags will be donated to ROTA, Reach Out to Asia, a nonprofit organization headed by Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad Al-Thani.
Prada is located at The Dubai Mall. Tel. +971 45016990