Fri 24.03 19:00 // EXHIBITION OPENING // ACUD GALLERY
MONIRA AL QADIRI
MONIRA AL QADIRI, BUBBLE
OPENING: FRI, 24. MARCH 2017, 7 – 10 PM
EXHIBITION: 25. MARCH – 23. APRIL 2017
OPENING HOURS: WED – SAT, 1 – 6 PM & BY APPOINTMENT
Curated by Elodie Evers and Camila Palomino
Monira Al Qadiri’s works lend a highly political visual language to the experiences of the Gulf, articulating both the angst and the richness of the culture. The exhibition at ACUD is Al Qadiri’s first solo-show in Germany, encompassing a selection of recent sculpture and video works.
In her earlier works, the artist experimented with questions of gender and performance. She created images and videos using representations of her own body, presenting herself as male characters, and having male dancers play female roles in videos portraying traditional Arabic music. These works relate narcissism, gender roles, and melancholy—highly figurative and sumptuous depictions of Arab Culture. Her most recent pieces continue to work through the same cultural spectrum but with particular consideration to economic histories and tradition.
The title of the show, “Bubble,” refers to both liquid crude oil—its effervescent and iridescent nature—and the term “economic bubble,” relating to a bubble market, or a trading of assets whose price is incongruous with its intrinsic value. The video projection Rumors of Affluence (2012) speaks directly to the latter, giving viewers an exclusive and voyeuristic look into the Kuwait Stock Exchange. Al Qadiri zooms in on different traders, men wearing traditional, long, white dishdashas, lounging aimlessly about the Stock Exchange, and presumably conducting business. Coupled with deeply percussive music building tension, the voice of the narrator—the artist herself vocally disguised as a man—recounts stories of wealth, consumption, and corruption before and after the financial crisis. The reveals another bubble: a world directed by men, of unimaginable wealth and fraud—a precarious bubble, ready to pop.
The video Travel Prayer (2014) features found footage from a camel race, a popular sport and betting event in the Middle East. In the past, children were trafficked, and used as jockeys at races. Most Middle Eastern countries have now recognized the use of children as a human rights violation; and as a result, camels today are fitted with robotic jockeys, as seen in the video, that are controlled from SUV vehicles that ride along the camels. Al Qadiri invokes a subtle humor in her works that allows her to navigate sensitive political and cultural spheres, with sharp poignancy that renders absurd the corrupt and perverse. The video confronts the dark, traditional history of this sport by making the footage vibrantly colored, and accompanying the images with two sounds: a children’s tune as staccato as the camel’s galloping is fused with the words of an Islamic travel prayer. Merging together symbols of wealth, tradition, and religion, these parts create a critical portrait of the Gulf States, where child abuse is traded for crude machines.
Al Qadiri’s pointed sense of irony is even more present in another video, SOAP (2014), in which she superimposes images of migrant domestic workers onto scenes from various Gulf Soap Operas. Domestic workers constitute an invisible presence in the immaculately manicured homes and lifestyles of characters on these television shows, yet in reality, these workers are a ubiquitous part of everyday life in most Gulf households. As a result, SOAP presents a surreal image and acerbic criticism of not only these soap operas, which themselves are cleaning and editing their depictions of reality, but also on a culture that is based in superficiality. As with Rumors of Affluence and Travel Prayer, SOAP continues to explore and expose the histories and experiences that are obscured in Gulf culture.
Deep Float, (2017) the newest work presented in the gallery, provides different sorts of intimacy. A bathtub standing at the center of gallery, what would seem to be a private moment of self-indulgence and self-care, is perverted. Instead, the bathtub is filled with a dark, nacreous substance portraying crude oil, while two hands seem to reemerge from the ooze. Both drowning and emerging from the muck, the absent body symbolizes the precarious and overwhelming economic reliance that the Middle East, and the rest of the world, have to crude oil.
Monira Al Qadiri (born 1983 in Dakar, Senegal) lives and works in Amsterdam. Born in Senegal and raised in Kuwait, she left her home country at 16 and spent a decade in Japan, where she received a PhD in intermedia art in 2010. In 2011 she relocated to Lebanon. She is a founding member of the artist collective GCC, and is currently in residence until 2018 at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Selected previous exhibitions include: Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna; New York University, Abu Dhabi; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; Center for Contemporary Art, Warsaw; Kunstverein Dusseldorf; Maraya Art Center, Sharjah; Tokyo Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo.
Al Qadiri’s video works have been screened at: Centre Pompidou, Paris; Safar: Festival of Contemporary Arab Cinema, London; Ludlow 38, New York; Whitechapel Gallery, London; Marian Goodman Gallery, Paris; Berlin International Film Festival, Berlin; New Museum, New York.
Image: Monira Al Qadiri, Rumors of Affluence, 2012, video still
With kind support by
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Wed 19.04 19:00 // CONCERT, BOOK LAUNCH // ACUD STUDIO
STATES AND CONDITIONS LIVE: EISKLARES ECHO (MIA VON MATT / RETO PULFER)
A multi-disciplinary evening takes place at Acud Studio to inaugurate Reto Pulfer’s monograph Zustandskatalog: Catalog of States and Conditions.
Eisklares Echo is the collaboration of Mia von Matt and Reto Pulfer. The music performances by EE are attempts in transformation and rely on the intimacy of improvised timing. With synthesizer, electric guitar, kalimba, electronics, words and effects the duo creates extended, powerful soundscapes embedded in minimal visual magic.
The evening takes place inside an immersive installation made from fabrics and pillows that is characteristic for Reto Pulfer’s working practice. The monograph gives a substantial overview of his work and is prepared in collaboration with five institutions where recently solo exhibitions took place. The 280 pages are designed by HIT and conceived with the artist, it is published by Sternberg Press.
Foto credit: Wendy Taylor
Zustandskatalog: Catalog of States and Conditions
Editors: Reto Pulfer, Nikola Dietrich
Authors: Anselm Franke, Benoît Maire, Reto Pulfer
Published by Sternberg Press, 2017
English, 32 x 24 cm, 280 pages, 475 color images, softcover, 35 euros,
Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève
Musée régional d’art contemporain Occitanie / Pyrénées-Méditerrannée, Sérignan
Spike Island, Bristol
Centre international d’art et du paysage de l’île de Vassivière
Fórum Eugénio de Almeida, Évora
“The monograph is inspired by the style of a catalogue raisonné where each works is presented with an accompanying text. The 475 color photographs of documentation are juxtaposed to excerpts from my novels. There are technical drawings, projects done for one-evening shows, next to room-filling installations made after months of preparation. When, in the installations, borderlines between works were not sharp, in the book we decided to methodologically create a typology of my works from about the last fifteen years. The book features obvious categories such as Living Ceramics, Food Advice, Ghostology and more intuitive ones like Synesthesia and Transformation.” (Reto Pulfer)
MI 19.4 // 19 H // FREE
ACUD STUDIO // CONCERT+BOOK LAUNCH
STATES AND CONDITIONS
LIVE: EISKLARES ECHO (MIA VON MATT / RETO PULFER)
immersive fabric landscape and ecstatic performance in conjunction with reto pulfer’s new monograph
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Wed 19.04 20:00 // CONCERT // ACUD CLUB
MILE ME DEAF // JOLLY GOODS
MILE ME DEAF [AT/Siluh]
Their new album is a swan song for the human race. In his previous albums, mastermind Wolfgang Möstl has hinted at his penchant for dystopic fictions that he links to the fragile status-quo of the current state of affairs. With Alien Age, however, he has abondoned the fuzz-and-thrash sound of his previous albums. Sampled beats and loops set the stage for his new album, reducing the 90s indie rock sound of past records to homeopathic doses. This time, dub, vaporwave, jazz and ambient come in the foreground. // Homepage
… are the sisters Tanja Pippi and Angy Lord. They founded Jolly Goods in a basement in Rimbach, Odenwald (Germany) in 2003. Tanja Pippi sings, plays guitar, piano, and organ. Angy Lord plays drums, percussion and sings backing vocals.Their music is inspired by Punk, Folk, Shoegaze, Riot Grrrl, Garage, Pop and Noise. In 2007 they released their debut album „Her.Barium“ on the berlin-based label Louisville Records. In 2010 they became part of the organization and bandcoaching team of Ruby Tuesday Rock Camp for girls, trans * and inter* in Berlin. In October 2010, Jolly Goods were part of the theatre rock opera „Peaches Does Herself“ by Peaches at HAU Berlin. In November 2011, their second album „Walrus“ was released on the Berlin label staatsakt. They are currently recording and producing their third album all on their own. Tanja Pippi is also working as an artist and photographer.
MI 19.4 // 20H // 10€
ACUD CLUB // CONCERT
m:soundtrack & lou fai present :: Mile Me Deaf (AT, Siluh) + TBA
MILE ME DEAF // JOLLY GOODS
psych, garage and pop
FB Event – Tickets
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