This performance presents Japanese ghost reading (Rei Noryoku) as a form of technology that could discern the past, present and future of the Arab world. The artist, Monira Al Qadiri, was once told by one of these ghost readers that she has 40 ghosts of her tribal ancestors – all men – attached to her body. These bearded men have a troubling and bloody history, they have lived a terrible life, but they want to enjoy their days spent with Monira who they see as the leader of their tribe. After they have indulged in the good life, they wish to die with her and ascend to the other world.
This story is used as a grand metaphor for addressing huge voids in the historical narrative of the Middle-Eastern region, its current destructive state, and its unknown science-fictional future. The ghosts are projected as video and use elements of dance in their performance, while the artist herself interacts with them on stage. Music, poetry, song merge with animated visual illusions and live performance to create a unique setting that is equally mysterious and thought-provoking.
Co-commissioned by Wiener Festwochen, Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Aichi Triennale (2019)
Concept: Monira Al Qadiri; Direction: Raed Yassin; Script: Monira Al Qadiri, Abdulaziz Al Nujaym; Script research: Hussein Nassereddine; Video & animation: Transforma; Location producer: Mousaed Khaled; Location wardrobe: Abdullah Al-Mutairi, Khaled Al Gharaballi; Technical direction & light design: Nadim Deaibes; Music: Senyawa, Khaled Yassine, James Kelly; Sound design: James Kelly; Set design: Monira Al Qadiri, Raed Yassin, Atelier Aziz Al Qatami; Prop fabrication: Anton Steenbock; General assistant: Mariam Mekiwi