Monira Al Qadiri
Artist / PhD in inter-media art
Interested in unconventional gender identities, petro-cultures and their possible futures
Lives between Beirut and Berlin
The Craft (2017) / The End (2017)
Monira Al Qadiri delves into psychological vicissitudes of the post-war expansion of American pop culture in the Arab world, a landscape once filled with Americana and its myriad products. In The Craft, Al Qadiri reconstructs the archetypal setting of an American diner to imbue the visitor with the anxiety of standardized environments. The diner houses a screen playing a film that revolves around childish fictions about strange incidents in Al Qadiri’s own family history. Paranoid speculation over reality prevails as Al Qadiri suggests that Kuwait’s embassy in Senegal, her father’s working place, was in fact an alien spacecraft, featured in the great conspiracy of international diplomacy. Here, the war that Al Qadiri experienced in the 1990s moprhs into an alien invasion. But alas, the conspiracy ends in failure. The aircraft is camouflaged by city lights. In The End, the 1960s and onwards American-led “modernization” of Kuwait appears to have ended: a hamburger floats in the stomach.