Monica AL QADIRI: Phantom Beard
Monira Al Qadiri has an unusual background, having moved from Kuwait to study in Japan at the age of 16, and then receiving her Ph.D. from Tokyo University of the Arts. She creates videos and performances, bringing together her acute insight regarding the Middle East, where she was born and raised, and a fascination with Japanese anime culture that she has harbored since a young age. Al Qadiri blends phenomena that society and religion have deemed separate–the sacred and the profane, men and women, the dead and the living, good and evil–transgressing these boundaries with her unique sorrow and humor.
Her work for Aichi Triennale 2019, co-produced with Wiener Festwochen and Kunstenfestivaldesarts, stems from her experience while studying in Japan of being told by a psychic that the spirits of 40 ancestors were attached to her. Why might 40 bearded men, unable to find their final peace, be sharing Al Qadiri’s life with her? Is it because of the bloody history of these desert nomads, and the void left in Middle Eastern Arab history that erases and consigns them to oblivion?
Al Qadiri has gathered talent from around the world, including German film production group Transforma, and Indonesian metal band Senyawa, for a thrilling performance that will bring together the imagination of Japanese anime with the artist’s acute insight into the Arab world.