EVENTS CALENDAR

    MONIRA AL QADIRI

    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
     
    senatslogo_WORDPRESS
     

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    LOMBARDOS LULLABY: JARNO VARSTED AND THE BACK SLIDERS // ELECTRIC ANTHILLMAN // KILLING POPES // AMIGO TROPICAL

    Thu 20.04 19:00 // CONCERT // ACUD CLUB
    LOMBARDOS LULLABY: JARNO VARSTED AND THE BACK SLIDERS // ELECTRIC ANTHILLMAN // KILLING POPES // AMIGO TROPICAL

    Blues, jazz, noise and other improvisations, presented by Amstart and Jungle World.
     
    LINE-UP
     
    JARNO VARSTED AND THE BACK SLIDERS
    ELECTRIC ANTHILLMAN
    KILLING POPES
    AMIGO TROPICAL
     
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    JARNO VARSTED AND THE BACK SLIDERS
    For over a decade Danish native Jarno Varsted has been pushing his blues to people around the world in various outfits such as Straight From The Harp, Rumspringa. In recent years he has been working mainly as a solo artist offering stripped down performances accompanying himself on harmonica and guitar only, proving himself one of Europe’s most interesting renewers of the tradition. This time he has teamed up with legendary Berlin axe slinger Rico Lee, known from bands The Still and as a solo pefromer fronting his own trio. Rico and Jarno back each other on new arrangements of their songs along with new compositions. Together the form a powerful and charismatic package, leaving audiences in awe wherever they go.
     

     
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    ELECTRIC ANTHILLMAN
    … spielen schnelle, kompakte quirlige New Wave Songs mit Elementen aus Disco, Funk und einer Portion Merkwürdigkeit. Kurioserweise spielten oder tanzten einzelne Mitglieder bereits Ende der 70er Jahre für Jane Fondas Gymnastikvideos und -Schallplatten. Sei dies auch nur ein Gerücht – wenn man die Band live sieht, mag man es nicht anders glauben!
     

     
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    KILLING POPES
    … sind die Masterminds Oliver Steidle an den Drums und der Bassist Petter Eldh aus Schweden. Beide sind seit Jahren international hoch profilierte und angesagte Musiker. Petter Eldh spielt u.a.mit Django Bates, dem Trondheim Jazz Orchestra sowie Marius Neset und der Neue deutsche Jazzpreisgewinner von 2008 und 2010 Oliver Steidle ist vor allem durch seine Zusammenarbeit mit Der Rote Bereich, Peter Brötzmann, Philm, SoKo Steidle oder Klima Kalima bekannt. Beide verbindet eine Leidenschaft für rhythmisch orientierte Musik: Petter kommt sozusagen vom HipHop und Oliver hörte in seiner Jungend Grindcore und Punk. Musikstile, die zudem einen stark gesellschaftskritischen Charakter besitzen, wie der Jazz in seinen besten Jahren. Dies als stilistische Grundlage bieten die Kompositionen der beiden Alles, was den Jazz heute ausmacht: Rhythmisch komplex, catchy Melodien und Platz für Improvisationen. Der Wahl-Berliner Frank Möbus ist seit Jahren eine Instanz der internationalen Jazz-Szene. Seine Zusammenarbeit mit Carlos Bica und Jim Black, Daniel Erdmann und vor allem sein eigenes Projekt Der Rote Bereich, weisen ihn als uniquen, eigenständigen Künstler aus. Als Sideman bei den Killing Popes trifft er auf seinen langjährigen Wegbegleiter und drummer des Roten Bereichs, Oli Steidle. Kit Downes aus England erhielt 2008 den BBC Jazz Award als Rising Star. Er ist Leader des viel beachteten Trios Troyka und The Enemy (mit Petter Eldh und James Maddren) spielt mit Julian Arguelles, Benny Greb und Squarepusher. Dan Peter Sundland ist einer der vielversprechendsten Musiker der jungen norwegischen Musikszene. Sein eigenes Projekt mit Steve Heather, Philipp Gropper und Antonis Anessegos hat durchwegs sehr gute Kritiken bekommen.
     

     
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    AMIGO TROPICAL
    Ich habe Amigo Tropical am Hochzeitsfest von Dina und Martin (=Kunstlerfreunde in Berlin) im Frühsommer gesehen, es war ein warmer, früher Abend, die ersten Biere waren gerade getrunken, als ohne Vorwarnung ein wunderbares, reinigendes Gewitter aus Krach, Breakbeats und Bass uber uns herfiel. Die beiden Musiker machten noch beim Soundcheck einen eher verspielten Eindruck, leicht verkleidet kamen sie daher, mit Stahlhelm und Schnurrbart, im Unterhemd und auch durchaus fröhlich. Aber mit dem ersten Ton setzte ein verzuckendes Lärmen ein, welches erst durch den Schluss der Darbietung ein Ende fand – zwischendurch gab es am laufenden Band neue musikalische Ideen in einem derartigen Stakkato, zerhackt und wieder auf den Punkt gebracht, dass euerm Autor dieser Zeilen der Mund offenblieb und er nicht umhin konnte die Burschen vom Fleck weg zu engagieren. Diese Musik einzuordnen oder zu kategorisieren ist in naheligender Weise schwierig. Anders als die zahlreichen Duos mit Metal-Hintergrund wurde ich die Basis eher auf Punk und Noise im besten Sinne sehen, industrial-brachialer Krach auf hohem intelektuellen Niveau – experimentelle Avantgarde mit Humor und Wissen. Mir kommen MERZBOW oder HELMET in den Sinn, der erste wegen seiner musikalischen Offenheit, die zweitgenannten wegen der rollenden und trotzdem hackenden Welle, die nicht aufhört. Oder VIOLENT ONSEN GEISHA mit ihrer totalen Abgedrehtheit. – SCHLOCKMASTER // Homepage
     
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    DO 20.4 // 19H // 12-14€
    amstart & jungle world present
    LOMBARDOS LULLABY:
    JARNO VARSTED AND THE BACK SLIDERS // ELECTRIC ANTHILLMAN // KILLING POPES // AMIGO TROPICAL
    blues, jazz, noise and other improvisations
    FB Event – Tickets

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