At the 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, Monira Al Qadiri presents a series of 3D-printed sculptures coated with iridescent automotive paint.
Official description (by Madeline Weisburg): “Raised in Kuwait, Al Qadiri has spent the last decade creating sculptures and videos that assume a range of strategies to explain the Persian Gulf region’s stunning urban and economic development over the last decades. Her interpretation of the Gulf’s so-called “petro-culture” is manifested through speculative scenarios that take inspiration from science fiction, Arab soap operas, Gulf War-era pictures of burning Kuwaiti oil fields, traditional melancholic music, pearl diving, and oil drilling machinery. Al Qadiri’s objects extract understandings of the present through the manifold contradictions of consumption and desire. Al Qadiri has looked to the symbolic aspects of oil, creating supernatural works that relish in the magical transcendence of the Gulf landscape – notably, its vast interior deserts and oyster beds that feed the ancient practice of pearl diving in the Persian Gulf – in tandem with the mechanisms that aid oil extraction. OR-BIT 1-8 (2016–2018), a series of 3D-printed sculptures coated with iridescent automotive paint, similarly embodies the unnerving potency of oil drilling. Representing drill heads, these tabletop sculptures magically float with the aid of a commercial magnetic rotation platform, inserted into the base of each of them. ORBITAL (2022) similarly presents floating sculptures, sized up to a more monumental scale. Spinning in the air, these shining drill heads create an experience of wonder; they become terrifying symbols of environmental devastation.”
Monira Al Qadiri / Venice Art Biennale 2022 – The Milk of Dreams. Venice (Italy), April 22, 2022.
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Monira Al Qadiri (b. 1983) is a Kuwaiti visual artist born in Senegal and educated in Japan. In 2010, she received a Ph.D. in inter-media art from Tokyo University of the Arts, where her research was focused on the aesthetics of sadness in the Middle-East stemming from poetry, music, art and religious practices. Her work explores unconventional gender identities, petro-cultures and their possible futures, as well as the legacies of corruption. She is currently based in Berlin.