Monira Al Qadiri at Kunstverein Göttingen

Monira Al Qadiri / Empire Dye
September 22 – November 24, 2019
Curator: Tomke Braun

Kunstverein Göttingen
Gotmarstraße 1 
37073 Göttingen

photo credit: Marius Land
photo credit: Marius Land
photo credit: Marius Land
photo credit: Marius Land
photo credit: Marius Land
photo credit: Marius Land
photo credit: Marius Land
photo credit: Marius Land
photo credit: Marius Land

Kunstverein Göttingen presents, Empire Dye, the first comprehensive solo exhibition of Monira Al Qadiri in Germany. Empire Dye uses the ocean as a metaphorical link and starting point, in order to look at the inevitable end of human rule over the material riches of the earth, from a futuristic perspective.

The exhibition at the Old Town Hall in Göttingen shows sculptures and video works, in which Al Qadiri aesthetically and narratively combines motifs from the oceanic world with the history of oil. For many centuries, the economy of the coastal regions of the Gulf States was based on decorative pearls; the artist‘s own grandfather also worked as a singer on a pearl fishing boat. The regional cultural identity shaped by the pearls was almost forgotten following the discovery of oil and the subsequent abrupt economic developments of the twentieth century. Al Qadiri compares the immeasurable impact of oil on cultural heritage, society and memories of the region, with an alien invasion from space. The artist creates both fantastic and critical images of a special radiance, in which she succeeds in extrac-ting alternative readings of reality from the contradictions.The iridescent color spectra that aesthetically connects the pe-arls with the oil, give the artist a way to combine the two histo-rical ways of thinking, each shaped by the dominant economy and thereby also risk a look into the future. The color violet plays a special part here: Whilst it was originally regarded as a particularly valuable and above all royal color, due to its costly extraction, it nowadays represents the color of the oil industry‘s greatest disaster. The violet alert light only flashes then when the highest danger level has been reached – thus, when it is ac-tually too late. The artist uses this color to describe the state of human life in the world –an alert state in which human‘s interac-tion with the environment falls back on them.

Monira Al Qadiri (*1983) is a Kuwaiti visual artist, born in Senegal, with an education in Japan. In 2010, she received a PhD in Inter-media Arts from Tokyo University of the Arts, where her research focused on the aesthetics of sadness in the Middle East through poetry, music, art and religious practices. Her work explores unconventional gender identities, petrocultures and their possible futures, as well as legacies of corruption. She is currently based in Berlin.

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Images courtesy of the artist and gallery

Images courtesy of the artist and gallery

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