Bani Abidi’s work is known for her use of humour as a way of negotiating realities that are often difficult and absurd. She likes to mock power and side with ordinary people, empowering herself and others by means of tools with which authority can be dethroned and ridiculed. Her observations and works draw inspiration from everyday life in the cities where she has lived, from snippets of news, and from the grand narratives presented daily to its people by the State. She works most frequently with video, but is also interested in other possibilities of creating meaning through time, so also makes sequential drawings, photographs and sound installations.
This work is part of the KHOJ portfolio titled “A Gift for Khoj”.
This artwork description has been sourced from Tate UK.
Encompassing the mediums of video, photography and performance, Bani Abidi’s two-decade-long practice draws on both everyday and historical events to explore issues of nationalism and state power. Bani Abidi’s practice deals heavily with political and cultural relations between India and Pakistan; she has a personal interest in this, as she lives and works in both New Delhi and Karachi. The artist’s subject matter ranges from border tensions to immigration conflicts, cultural diversity, and the relationship between private and public space. She works in the media of video, photography, and drawing.
Abidi’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin (2017); Kunsthaus Hamburg (2016); Gandhara Art Space, Karachi (2016); Dallas Contemporary, US (2015); Kunstverein Arnsberg, Germany (2014) and Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Newcastle, UK (2011), among others. Her work has also been shown in group exhibitions at the Lahore Biennale (2018); Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst, Bremen, Germany (2017); Kiran Nader Museum of Art, Delhi (2016); Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, UK (2016); Museum of Modern Art, New York (2015); Latvia Centre for Contemporary Art, Riga (2015); Aga Khan Museum, Toronto (2014); 8th Berlin Biennale (2014); Guggenheim Museum, New York (2013); Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (2012); Kochi-Muziris Biennial (2012); 9th Shanghai Biennale (2012); dOCUMENTA 13, Kassel, Germany (2012); Devi Art Foundation, New Delhi (2012); ZKM | Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, Germany (2011); 10th Lyon Biennale, France (2009); 7th Gwangju Biennale (2008); Singapore Biennale (2006) and Asia Society, New York (2006), among others.
Abidi’s work can be found in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Guggenheim Museum, New York; British Museum, London; Tate Modern, London; Burger Collection, Hong Kong; Devi Arts Foundation, Gurugram, India and Sharjah Art Foundation, among others.
She has been an artist-in-residence at DAAD Berliner Kunstlerprogram, Berlin (2011); Fukuoka Artist Exchange Program, Japan (2005); Khoj International Artists Residency, New Delhi (2001) and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, US (2000). She was awarded a Sharjah Art Foundation Production Programme grant in 2011.
Abidi studied visual art at the National College of Arts in Lahore (1994) and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1999). Born in 1971 in Karachi, she currently lives and works between Berlin and Karachi.
This artist bio has been sourced from Sharjah Art Foundation .