Monira Al Qadiri|The Tragedy of Self
I am so happy that I made it to Monira Al Qadiri’s solo exhibition The Tragedy of Self, at the Sultan Gallery last night. However, I could just kick myself in the bum for not taking my camera with me (I’m disappointed in myself for allowing this dust to keep me from going back this morning, but my kids are at home and they need their mom here. Otherwise I’d have lugged them along with me). So I went last night and Monira, my anointed Queen of all things androgenic, surprisingly looked a little skewed towards femininity in her black, gold-embroidered punjabi. I’m so glad I took two of my children to an exhibition like this because I enjoyed watching them take the works in and hearing their comments.
We were particularly mesmerized by a small video installation of Monira looking a mighty lot like Jesus: holy, illuminated and like all the other Moniras there, bearded. My fourteen-year-old son asked me why all the works were so serious. I told him that I thought the whole thing was a little tongue-in-cheek, that there’s a little joke going on between Monira the artist, Monira the subject, and the viewer. I also told him that that was just my interpretation. My daughter asked me if the artist was indeed buried under the tombstones in the back. I told her: ‘No, because I just saw her in a pretty, black, gold-embroidered punjabi, mingling with her visitors.’ ‘Does she actually have a unibrow and a beard?’ ‘I don’t think so.’
The exhibition is up for just another day (tonight) and half tomorrow. It’s not impossible to get there in this dust. Consider it a respite at the end of an arduous desert journey.