Bani Abidi

Bani Abidi was born in Karachi, studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and now resides and works between Karachi and Berlin. In her work, she travels between various mediums to achieve a wildly provocative and innovative style. She uses photography, video, sound and installation as her artistic intervention in politics and culture, often through humorous and absurd vignettes. Abidi is a unique artist who defies categories or labels. Part stylised documentary, part performance and part speculation, her work often features actors and non- actors as she reveals the extraordinary in what may seem ordinary. Everyday scenes — through her artistic lens — transform into a commentary on the absurdity of power. She grapples with questions of identity, politics and the culture of control. The most visceral theme, however, is humour—Abidi's acknowledgement of the absurd, and appreciation of laughter as a radical action. She invites us to laugh through the absurd which is at once a commentary on oppressive power as well as a commentary on the vitality of the oppressed. 


This is the first time Bani Abidi’s work will be exhibited in Palestine. Her work has been exhibited widely in solo and group shows internationally. She has had solo exhibitions at Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2021); Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah (2019); Gropius Bau, Berlin (2019); Neuer Berliner Kunstverein,Berlin (2017); Kunsthaus Hamburg, Hamburg (2016); Gandhara Art Space, Karachi (2016); Dallas Contemporary, Dallas, (2015); Kunstverein, Arnsberg (2014), The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Newcastle (2011) amongst 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, Gurgaon, India and Sharjah Art Foundation, among others. 


Artist Artworks