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a dyptic of a zoomed in image on the left and panned out shows a man pointing into the distance

Still from Death at a 30 Degree Angle, 2012. Two-channel video installation, color and sound. 15 mins

Commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation. Courtesy of the artist and Experimenter, Kolkata.

Artist Talk: Bani Abidi

On the occasion of her solo exhibition at the MCA Chicago, join us live for a virtual lecture by artist Bani Abidi, introduced by Pamela Alper Associate Curator Bana Kattan and followed by an audience Q&A.

About the Event

This event is presented in partnership with the Visiting Artist Program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where Abidi earned her MFA. Abidi has been working with the moving image for the past two decades. She has consistently blurred the lines between fiction and fact while finding inspiration in the dark absurdities of everyday life. Her staged scenes and various characters struggle with enacting small gestures of resistance within broader dynamics of state power and nationalism. Abidi, who also draws and photographs, uses humor in all its gravity and firmly believes in the agency of laughter.

Abidi’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2021); Gropius Bau, Berlin (2019); Sharjah Art Foundation (2019); Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (2017); Kunsthaus Hamburg (2016); Gandhara Art Space, Karachi (2016), among others. Her work has also been shown in group exhibitions at the Asia Pacific Triennial, Queensland (2021); 11th Seoul Mediacity Biennale (2021); 13th Shanghai Biennial (2020); Lahore Biennale (2018); Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst, Bremen, Germany (2017); Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, Delhi (2016); Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, United Kingdom (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), 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.

Partnership & Funding

Presented in partnership with the SAIC Visiting Artist Program and SAIC Alumni Engagement.

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago Visiting Artists Program

Major support for Bani Abidi: The Man Who Talked Until He Disappeared is provided by the Zell Family Foundation, Cari and Michael Sacks, R. H. Defares, Charlotte Cramer Wagner and Herbert S. Wagner III of the Wagner Foundation, and Anonymous.

Generous support is provided by Murat Ahmed and Katherine Mackenzie, and by the Shulamit Nazarian Foundation.

This exhibition is supported by the Women Artists Initiative, a philanthropic commitment to further equity across gender lines and promote the work and ideas of women artists.