As the first in a pilot series produced in partnership with arts digital production unit Video in Common (ViC) and titled Money Makes the World Go ‘Round, Monira Al Qadiri joins aqnb in talking about her practice from her perspective as a Kuwaiti-raised, Tokyo-educated and now Beirut-based artist. She speaks through Skype and communicates via email, about growing up in the Gulf during the first Iraq war, the impact of the oil fires and how Japanese Anime presented an escape from a feeling of cultural oppression and political instability.
This is Part One of two concerning the artist, taking video works and personal footage provided by Al Qadiri to produce this segment titled ‘Portraits of the End of the World’. It’s a quote taken from the artist herself as she describes the convenient truths and historical fictions constructed around ideas of personal and national identity. From her early ‘“Wa waila”(Oh Torment)’ (2008) video work to her ‘”Muhawwil” (Transformer)’ (2014) light box –recently shown at the Never Never Land exhibition –Al Qadiri tracks her creative and personal development from a fascination with masculinity, its freedoms and inherent narcissism, to a realisation of the differently, though equally, if not more oppressive regimes of Japanese hypercapitalism versus religious fundamentalism.
Art and economics is central to the Money Makes the World Go ‘Round series –exploring art and artists in a global market –to publish at the start of every week from the last day of March to June, 2015. It features six artists from cities around the networked world. **
Watch the video embedded above and see here for Part Two.
This project has been made possible through the generous support of Arts Council England.