Petro-Historical Complex

A lecture/performance by Monira Al Qadiri

Thurs., Nov. 7, 6 p.m.
Admission is free * RSVP requested
Minnesota Museum of American Art

It is the year 2276. Desert archaeologists discover a blue iridescent “crown” buried in the ground near K-W965. When they dust it off, they see it is covered with gold and diamonds. They conjecture that it is some kind of ceremonial artifact, used in the rituals of ancient peoples from the region. Little do they know, the previous life of the object was complete opposite – it was a harsh and mechanical tool. A machine that drills holes thousands of meters beneath the earth’s crust, destroying everything in its path, and generating greed in the hearts of men.

Featured artist Monira Al Qadiri will be joined in discussion with a local scholar directly after her lecture performance.

Monira Al Qadiri is a Kuwaiti visual artist born in Senegal and educated in Japan. In 2010, she received a Ph.D. in inter-media 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. Her work explores unconventional gender identities, petro-cultures and their possible futures, as well as the legacies of corruption. In 2017, she presented her first live theater performance “Feeling Dubbing” at the Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels. Monira currently lives and works in Berlin.

Related exhibition information: History Is Not Here: Art and the Arab Imaginary presents the work of artists who address what can be termed the “Arab imaginary” as a strategy for examining various social, cultural, and political positions. Best understood through a framework that recognizes the so-called Arab world and its diaspora as multiform, made up of 22 countries with distinct histories as well as diverse ethnicities, languages, and religions, this exhibition explores and scrutinizes the ways in which the region has been historicized. Through painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, book art, installation, and video, featured artists make connections between contemporary geopolitics and the histories that inform them. Their works draw attention to the challenges of representation, including misunderstandings and missteps, and the limiting and problematic terms that are often used to define the region. History Is Not Here rejects the idea of history as a fixed category and looks to alternative imagery and approaches from which new “imaginaries” can be generated. On view Sept. 12, 2019 – Jan. 5, 2020.