Bani Abidi

They Died Laughing

6 June to 22 September 2019

Bani Abidi is known for her distinctive approach to filmmaking, which derives from the dark absurdities of everyday life. They Died Laughing is an extensive presentation of Abidi’s works, bringing together moving image and print-based works that span two decades.

Bani Abidi, “Karachi Series I”, 2009

Bani Abidi. Karachi Series I, 2009

Courtesy: the artist & Experimenter, Kolkata © Bani Abidi

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To the programme

Abidi often uses video as her tool for mnemonic recall while embedding the medium with a poetic function and layers of fiction. Currently based in Berlin and Karachi, she assumes the role of a storyteller and urban archaeologist in telling the stories of cities she has lived in. Fictional narratives traverse individual experiences and ask complex questions on patriotism, framed by the historic power struggles and geopolitical relations between neighbouring nation-states India and Pakistan. Her works spin tales of ambition and failure, while thematising the relationship between state power, patriotism and megalomania.

For the forthcoming exhibition at the Gropius Bau, Bani Abidi developed a new project, The Lost Procession, based on the experiences of the persecuted Hazara community from Quetta, capital of the Pakistani province of Balochistan, who have fled to Germany in recent years. While Abidi sketches encounters between these inhabited landscapes, she focuses on themes including expropriation, refuge and captivity. This project is commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation, where Bani Abidi will have a solo exhibition in October 2019, curated by Hoor Al-Qasimi and Natasha Ginwala.

Curated by Natasha Ginwala

Funded by the  German Federal Cultural Foundation

Logo Kulturstiftung des Bundes

Partners:  Burger Collection,  Wall,  Bouvet
Media partners:  Missy Magazine,  kunst:art,  In Your Pocket