Monira Al Qadiri

Flower Drill

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Artwork Details

Artist

Monira Al Qadiri

Title

Flower Drill

Date

2016

Medium

Fibreglass and automotive paint

Dimensions

200 x 200 x 120 cm

Credit Line

Art Jameel Collection

Artist Biography

Monira Al Qadiri (b. 1983, Senegal) lives and works in Berlin, Germany.

Monira Al Qadiri is a visual artist whose work explores unconventional gender identities, petrocultures and their possible futures, as well as legacies of corruption. Al Qadiri received a PhD in intermedia art from Tokyo University of the Arts, where her research was focused on the aesthetics of sadness in the Middle East stemming from poetry, music, art and religious practices. Al Qadiri’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Circl, Amsterdam (2018), Sursock Museum, Beirut (2017), Gasworks, London (2017), Stroom Den Haag, The Hague (2017), Acud Macht Neu, Berlin (2017), ATHR Gallery, Jeddah (2017), Sultan Gallery, Kuwait City (2014) and Tokyo Wonder Site, Tokyo (2009). Her work has also been shown in group exhibitions, including ‘Spectrum 1’, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (2018); 20th Contemporary Art Festival Sesc_Videobrasil, São Paulo (2017); ‘Glasstress 2017’, Palazzo Franchetti San Marco, Venice (2017); ‘Let’s Talk about the Weather: Art and Ecology in a Time of Crisis’, Sursock Museum, Beirut (2016); ‘Invisible Threads: Technology & Its Discontents’, NYU Abu Dhabi (2016); ‘DUST’, CCA Warsaw (2015); ‘Whose Subject Am I?’, Kunstverein Düsseldorf, Germany (2015); and ‘Accented’, Maraya Art Centre, Sharjah (2015).

Work Description

Flower Drill, a trio of enlarged drill heads, are made out of fibreglass, a material composed of petroleum-based plastics, and coated in dichroic automotive paint, recreating a two-tone effect popular amongst custom car enthusiasts. While their dark iridescent surface mimics oil’s nacreous lustre—a quality it shares with pearls, the Gulf’s primary source of wealth before the discovery of oil—it also makes the drill’s futuristic design feel sinisterly alien. These monstrous blooms, petroculture recast as natural efflorescence, are prognostications, foretelling the inevitable destruction of the planet due to our reliance on fossil fuels. And by presenting this extractive technology as extraterrestrial and threatening, Al Qadiri also returns us to the moment of what writer Amitav Ghosh has called the “Oil Encounter,” when indigenous populations in the region first encountered the industrial machinery needed to extract oil, regarding it with both wonder and dread.

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