This work is comprised of two fantastical oil drill bits that resemble “claws” or “talons” emerging from the wall. Their “fingers” move, creating an organic or animalistic feel to objects that are otherwise akin to machines. This humorous work, which can be also related to the dinosaur in the nearby work Seismic Songs, also acts as a play on a “gauntlet” drill bit, which resembles a hand or glove with three fingers. The work’s bright purple hue—a common motif in Al Qadiri’s practice—makes the objects look even more unnatural, even alien, in their design and purpose while also recalling the reflective sheen of oil or a pearl’s surface. This speaks to the constant paradox present throughout the artist’s works—something can be seen as appealing, alluring, or otherworldly but also be dangerous and destructive.
Commissioned by Blaffer Art Museum and the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts at the University of Houston.