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created by John Sanborn

Commissioned by

The National Museum of Qatar

Opened March 27, 2019

Permanent Installation

ALCHEMY (2019)

directed by John Sanborn


Soundtrack by Christen Lien and David Van Tieghem

8:02 (presented as a loop)

30 video channels on 30 screens of various sizes

14 channel audio mix

Commissioned by The National Museum of Qatar

Permanent Installation – opened March 27, 2019


To change the world you must have vision, courage and the will to succeed.

With what appears to be alchemy - but is actually a blend of pioneering science, innovative investment and intense dedication - the vision of the Father Emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani – has become a reality.


Alchemy celebrates the remarkable daring and enormous benefits of Qatar’s development of Liquid Natural Gas as a resource for the world.  The work conveys the beauty and majesty of this achievement, in ingenious and poetic form; beginning with a mysterious unknown, continuing through three choreographic stages, and ending with a smile of recognition.


You cannot touch it, smell it or taste it – but when you want to boil an egg, heat your house or light your way – it’s there. We never think about how things manage to get done, but in this case the consideration is on a mythic scale.


Produced by the Doha Film Institute

Edited with Heloise Roueau and Roger Jones

Technical Direction by Dean Winkler and Roger Jones

CGI by Nice Shoes, New York

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