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Visual Art, Sculpture, Exhibition

FLOATING WORLD: Artwork by Monira Al Qadiri

ICD Brookfield Place

November 16, 2023 - January 3, 2024 | 10:00AM - 10:00AM

sculptures by Monira Al Qadiri in an atrim

In FLOATING WORLD, Kuwaiti artist Monira Al Qadiri invites viewers on an imaginary journey into the mechanics of petro-culture, a term that defines the sociocultural impact of our relationship to oil. Through her hyper-visibility of luminescent objects, Monira Al Qadiri questions the sustainability of fossil fuels, and their integration into our lives and the path ahead to energy transition. Bringing the patterns and textures behind this extraction to the surface, Al Qadiri exhibits two bodies of work: BENZENE FLOAT and NAWA.

BENZENE FLOAT, reimagines petrochemicals and their compounds. Co-commissioned with the museum Kunsthaus Bregenz in Austria, the installation comprises five large-scale inflatable sculptures, depicting molecular structures of petrochemical substances (like benzene, propane gas, naphthalene) in blown-up forms. These larger-than-life sculptures are coated in iridescent fabrics - a nod to how the oil industry has replaced pearling in the Gulf region.

With NAWA, Al Qadiri delves into the processes of the oil industry, which though reliant on its consumption, remain hidden to us.The composition of steel rope cables that carry oil from the depths of the earth to the ground’s surface takes centre stage. When cut in half, these ropes reveal mesmerizing geometric patterns resembling flowers in bloom, fractals or hyper-visual decorative elements. Al Qadiri translates these patterns into a series of 50 two-dimensional metal sculptures, forming a 'flower field' that mirrors the captivating enigma of oil in our lives - a metaphorical poison apple in the garden of Eden.


Monira Al Qadiri (b. 1983) is a Kuwaiti visual artist born in Senegal and educated in Japan. Spanning sculpture, installation, film and performance, Al Qadiri's multifaceted practice is mainly based on research into the cultural histories of the Gulf region. Her interpretation of the Gulf's so-called "petro-culture" is manifested through speculative scenarios that take inspiration from science fiction, autobiography, traditional practices and pop culture, resulting in uncanny and covertly subversive works. She is currently based in Berlin.

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Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Date & Time

November 16, 2023 - January 3, 2024 | 10:00AM - 10:00AM