What is it like to live in the constant presence of 40 men?
Monira Al Qadiri, a Kuwaiti artist educated in Japan, should know. A reinōsha well versed in the Japanese technique of reading ghosts told her that these men are her ancestors and are with her wherever she goes. After having experienced terrible things themselves, they now want to enjoy life with her as their leader. Al Qadiri, who has made a name for herself as a visual artist, choses for a crossover in life as in her art.
Born in Senegal, she grew up in Kuwait and was greatly influenced by Japanese culture and by the mangas and animes she devoured. Phantom Beard, which will have its world premiere in Vienna, is just as unconventional as the artist’s biography. It is a cultural fusion in which she turns Japan’s traditions and its often cheesy pop into fertile ground for dealing with the past, present-day war and uncertain future of the Middle East. She uses a sophisticated video technique to make the ghosts – Arab men moving like butoh dancers – appear onstage. A refreshingly uninhibited encounter of different worlds.
- Artistic Team
By and with Monira Al Qadiri Co-direction Raed Yassin Script Monira Al Qadiri, Abdulaziz Al Nujaym Script research Hussein Nassereddine Video, animation Transforma Location production Mousaed Khaled Technical direction, light design Nadim Deaibes Music Senyawa, Khaled Yassine, James Kelly Sound design James Kelly Set design Monira Al Qadiri, Raed Yassin, Atelier Aziz Al Qatami Prop fabrication Anton Steenbock General assistant Mariam Mekiwi, Mayssan Charaf Eddine
Production Monira Al Qadiri Co-production Wiener Festwochen, Aichi Triennale, Kunstenfestivaldesarts (Brussels)
Premiere May 2019, Wiener Festwochen
Monira Al Qadiri is a Kuwaiti visual artist born in Senegal (in 1983) 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.
In the last years she has held solo exhibitions at the CIRCL Pavilion, Amsterdam, Sursock Museum, Beirut or Gasworks, London among others, and participated in international group exhibitions such as Forum Expanded / Berlinale, The 9th Asia Pacific Triennial, Brisbane, 6th Athens Biennial and Lulea Biennial, Sweden. Her videos and short films have been screened at MoMA, New York, Rotterdam Film Festival, Kunsthalle Schirn or Centre Pompidou. In 2017, she presented her first live theater performance Feeling Dubbing at the Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels. Monira is currently living and working in Berlin.