Monira Al Qadiri
22 | 04 – 02 | 07 | 2023
Monira Al Qadiri is one of the most important artists of the Gulf region. Born in Senegal, she grew up in Kuwait and left for Japan when she was only sixteen. Her identity, she explains, is hybrid, her homeland unclear. “I am a mutant,” says Al Qadiri. The war in Kuwait prompted her to look for subterfuges. The artist has since gained recognition for her videos and sculptures dealing with “petro culture” and the dependency of modern life on fossil fuels. “Oil is a destructive force, but in a way, it is also a miracle. It is like a very strange alien being that has landed from outer space and will eventually disappear again.” She presents objects covered in car paint. They look like jewels in a treasure trove, reminiscent of phallic rockets, futuristic explosive devices, or science fiction. They shine mint green, ultramarine, or in the colors of brass. Some are mounted on white pedestals and rotate; others are monumental in size and found in public space. In fact, they are drill heads. Al Qadiri does not alter their forms, but merely determines their dimensions and colors.
Mutant Passages comprises entirely new works conceived for Kunsthaus Bregenz, that follow in-depth research, forms and ideas developed by the artist over the last decade around the subject of oil, culminating in this body of work.
Monira Al Qadiri (b. 1983, Senegal) grew up in Kuwait. In 2010 she received her doctorate from the Tokyo University of the Arts. Al Qadiri lives and works in Berlin.
The artist has participated in several solo exhibitions at such venues as the Haus der Kunst in Munich, at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and at the Sursock Museum in Beirut. Her works have also been shown in group exhibitions at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris and MoMA PS1 in New York, at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven and the Jameel Arts Centre in Dubai. In 2022 she participated in the Venice Biennale, this year her work is part of Sharjah Biennial 15: Thinking Historically in the Present.