Fatima Al Qadiri and Khalid Al Gharaballi, stills from Mendeel Um A7mad (NxIxSxM) (2012).
HD video, 15:28 minutes.
Courtesy of the artists.
Fatima Al Qadiri, Bored (1997).
Digital print, 64 5/8 × 78 3/4 in.
Courtesy of the artist.
My visual work examines the interplay among gender, style, and performance by drawing attention to the local context. Sophisticated Google search algorithms allow users to parse information and locate minutiae culled from everyday life, but often neglect significant social rituals that are relegated to the private residential sphere and thus subsequently undocumented. Because of their negligible Google search yield, the Kuwaiti practices and social rituals I address in my work are deemed invisible. Through live performance and video, I create fantasy documentation of said social realities by positing liminal gender identities as the norm, and casting them in a globalized-style setting. My work reveals my fascination with the localized, trickle-down manifestation of global style trends, the reality of consumer culture, and public phenomena. By combining public and private, global and local, the conflation of social barriers reveals the potential manifestations of local identity.
Fatima Al Qadiri (born 1981, Dakar) is a New York–based artist, performance artist, and musician, who produces music under her own name and as Ayshay. She graduated from New York University in 2004 with a degree in linguistics. Through her work in video, photography, and performance, she explores gender stereotypes and the impact of consumerism on contemporary Kuwaiti society.
Selected group exhibitions include Eb Beiti Ana Geezi, Sultan Gallery, Kuwait, 2008; Starship Counterforce, Aqua Art Miami, Art Basel, Miami, 2008; Goth Gulf Visual Vortex GGVV, Sultan Gallery, Kuwait, 2009; No Soul for Sale (as a member of the collective K48 Kontinuum), X-Initiative, New York, and Tate Modern, London, 2009; Mahma Kan Althaman (“Whatever The Price”), Sultan Gallery, Kuwait, 2010; MOVE!, MoMA PS1, New York, 2010; TELFAR SS 2011 (“FORmale”), White Box Gallery, New York, 2010; antinormanybody, Kleio Projects Gallery, New York, 2011; Gwangju Design Biennale, South Korea, 2011; Snail Fever, Third Line Gallery, Dubai, 2011; The Bravery of Being Out of Range, Sultan Gallery, Kuwait, 2012; Global Art Forum, Art Dubai, Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha, 2012; Mendeel Um A7mad (NxIxSxM), CAP, Kuwait, 2012; RE-RUN, Banner Repeater, London, 2012; and Surrender, Fourth Edition, Marrakech Biennale, 2012.
Al Qadiri has performed in many countries. Her performances include CHLDRN (with Shayne Oliver), The Kitchen, New York, 2009; Yemenwed, Bedroom w TV and Woman Lays w Aide, Performa Biennial, New York, 2009, and MoMA PS1, New York, 2010; Shaytan (part of No Soul for Sale) (as Ayshay), Tate Modern, London, 2010; SOLILOQUY II, P.P.O.W., New York, 2010; Genre-Specific Xperience (video screening), New Museum, New York, 2011, Nottingham Contemporary, 2012, and Sultan Gallery, Kuwait, 2012; and Going OVER, Bidoun Art Park, Art Dubai, Dubai, 2011.
Al Qadiri has also curated a number of exhibitions, and written and performed film soundtracks. In 2011, she received a visual arts grant from the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture. Al Qadiri is a contributing editor at DIS magazine and contributor to Bidoun magazine.