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Monira Al Qadiri

Conspirational Memories, 2018

screenprint on somerset satin white 300gsm
30 x 42cm
About Monira Al Qadiri
Monira Al Qadiri is a multimedia artist who was raised in Kuwait. Her artistic practice spans geopolitics, petropolitics and diplomacy. It investigates the cultural history of her native land, its history of invasion and intervention, and how it has been infiltrated and informed by foreign and domestic rituals and power relations. While Al Qadiri’s work is drenched in the legacy and omniscience of oil within Kuwait, pearls provide a further motif. Before becoming a petrostate, pearling was Kuwait’s main export, and the artist’s grandfather worked as a singer on a pearl diving boat. Al Qadiri draws links between pearls and petrol, both iridescent by nature, refracting light and historically coveted. Gender identity is another theme that hangs over the artist’s work; she often plays with binary, entrenched gender roles, adopting a male persona, such as in the music video, Abu Athiyya (Father of Pain). This piece is a lament or, as the artist describes, a ‘eulogy towards the aesthetics of sadness’. Al Qadiri uses VHS footage, both newly shot and retrieved from her childhood, to create multilayered ruminations on cultural collision, mass media and globalisation.