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OPENINGS: MONIRA AL QADIRI

Monira Al Qadiri, Travel Prayer, 2014, digital video, color, sound, 2 minutes 40 seconds.

COMING IN at just under three minutes, Travel Prayer, 2014, one of Monira Al Qadiri’s latest videos, is brief, but its focus is precise: The artist distills into this short span the momentous collisions between tradition and technology, desert culture and global capital, that increasingly define the Gulf states. The work consists of a tightly framed view of a camel race that the Beirut-based artist recorded from a television broadcast, slowed down just enough to turn a gallop into a glide. The found footage has a grainy, almost nostalgic quality to it, which the artist has emphasized by tinting the sky teal, only to counter such softness by toning the racetrack, its fence, and the animals with a bright, otherworldly fuchsia filter. Al Qadiri also composed an electronic score to accentuate the movement—a few notes forming a wistful lullaby—and paired it with a recording

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