Monira Al Qadiri Phantom Beard

© Nurith Wagner-Strauss
© Nurith Wagner-Strauss
© Monira al Qadiri
© Robert Reiger

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.