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Bani Abidi

Born in 1971 in Karachi (Pakistan)
Lives and works in Berlin (Germany)

Bani Abidi uses video and photography to comment upon politics and culture, often through humorous and absurd vignettes. Her work has been exhibited widely in solo and group shows internationally. Solo shows have taken place at Dallas Contemporary, Dallas, Texas, Kunstverein Arnsberg, The Baltic, Gateshead, Experimenter, Kolkata, Green Cardamom, London, amongst others. Select group shows include the 8th Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art, 2014; In Plain Sight, Smack Mellon, New York, 2014; Lines of Control, Nasher Museum, Duke University, 2013; No Country, Guggenheim Museum, New York, 2013; dOCUMENTA 13, 2012; Kochi Muziris Biennial, 2012; Blockbuster: Cinema for Exhibitions, Mexico, 2011; Where Three Dreams Cross, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, 2010; Xth Lyon Biennale, Lyon, France, 2009; 7th Gwangju Biennale, Kwangju, South Korea, 2008; Thermocline of Art: New Asian Waves, ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany, 2007; Singapore Biennale, Singapore, 2006; SubContingent: The South Asian Sub Continent in Contemporary Art, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, Italy, 2006; Contemporary Commonwealth, National Gallery of Victoria, Australia, 2006;  and 3rd Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale, Fukuoka, Japan, 2005, amongst several others. Abidi’s work is in collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Guggenheim Museum, New York, The British Museum, TATE Modern, The Spencer Museum of Art, The Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, The Burger Collection, Devi Arts Foundation, and Marguelies Collection amongst several other private and public collections. She was artist in Residence at DAAD Artists Residency, Berlin in 2011/2012.

Bani Abidi writes of her video installation on view at KB17: “The city has come to a halt. A state dignitary is about to arrive. Traffic is blocked to make way for the unhampered movement of four luxury vehicles. School children with crumpled paper flags in hand wait patiently to wave at the passing motorcade. An anxious reception committee of officious bureaucrats paces up and down a red carpet.”


Double channel video installation, 9:00 min.
Commissioned by the Singapore National Arts Council for the Singapore Biennale 2006.
Courtesy the artist