SOUTH SOUTH FILM

Bani Abidi
25 – 27 June, 2021

I want to make a strong point about the fact that my work is not about Pakistan. It’s about power, security, and militarised architecture; and it’s about the vulnerability of regular people. We ought to be aware and assert the fact that such an identity-based reading of culture only happens when a work by a brown person is shown in a white space. A romance set in Paris is never perceived as being ‘about’ France, is it? What you see in my films is what I know and assume as my normative: the sounds, smells, landscape, and temperature . . . these are the details that help tell a story.

I am certainly not out to teach anyone anything about my country. My practice draws from a large spectrum of present and past experiences, and I hope to be able to speak to anyone who is interested in those ideas. Of course, there are many layers in my work and its reading very much depends on the context in which it is placed.

Bani Abidi

Bani Abidi courtesy of:

experimenter

SY-Distance17_sized

The Distance from Here, 2009

12 min

The Distance from Here is a reflection on the psychology of visa waiting rooms, embassy protocols and the nervous anticipation of visa applicants who are hoping to access international travel from cities in South Asia.

Read More

Gleaned from frequent visits to the ‘Diplomatic Enclave’ in Islamabad, Abidi gently observes the gestures of her fellow visa applicants, their conversations and questions, the spontaneous local economy that props up to enable the time of waiting and preparation, and the forbidding architecture and processes of permission that strip people of their belongings, and separate and organize them into obedient bodies. This is an homage to everyone who feels scared and unsure about whether they will ever get to make their journey.

Read Less

An Unforeseen Situation, 2015

6 min 42 sec

An Unforeseen Situation refers to a series of orchestrated mass events and spectacular individual feats hosted by the Punjab Ministry of Sports in 2014 during which multiple world records were reportedly broken by Pakistan.

Read More

Picking up from the popular rumours, newspaper clippings and video footage surrounding the events, the artist spins her own version of the events as they unfolded. 

Read Less

Shan Pipe Band Learns the Star Spangled Banner, 2004

7 min 30 sec

In November of 2003, the artist commissioned a brass pipe band in Lahore to learn how to play the American National Anthem, a piece that was not a part of their existing repertoire.

Read More

Over an afternoon’s sitting of listening to a recording of the music that had been provided them, and after much fumbling and practicing they were able to perform a version of it. The video is a recording of this process as well as a glimpse of their interaction and physical surroundings.

This piece is a metaphor for all forms of clumsy and forced cultural and political acquiescence that various individuals and governments have had to display towards the US in the past 3 years. The Scottish Pipe Band is a colonial legacy that still exists in Pakistan. Now, unattached to the military these band musicians play Indian music tunes at weddings.

Read Less

An Unforeseen Situation, 2015

6 min 42 sec

An Unforeseen Situation refers to a series of orchestrated mass events and spectacular individual feats hosted by the Punjab Ministry of Sports in 2014 during which multiple world records were reportedly broken by Pakistan.

Read More

Picking up from the popular rumours, newspaper clippings and video footage surrounding the events, the artist spins her own version of the events as they unfolded. 

Read Less

Opening 26 June 2021

The Distance from Here, 2009

12 min

The Distance from Here is a reflection on the psychology of visa waiting rooms, embassy protocols and the nervous anticipation of visa applicants who are hoping to access international travel from cities in South Asia.

Read More

Gleaned from frequent visits to the ‘Diplomatic Enclave’ in Islamabad, Abidi gently observes the gestures of her fellow visa applicants, their conversations and questions, the spontaneous local economy that props up to enable the time of waiting and preparation, and the forbidding architecture and processes of permission that strip people of their belongings, and separate and organize them into obedient bodies. This is an homage to everyone who feels scared and unsure about whether they will ever get to make their journey.

Read Less

Opening 27 June 2021

Shan Pipe Band Learns the Star Spangled Banner, 2004

7 min 30 sec

In November of 2003, the artist commissioned a brass pipe band in Lahore to learn how to play the American National Anthem, a piece that was not a part of their existing repertoire.

Read More

Over an afternoon’s sitting of listening to a recording of the music that had been provided them, and after much fumbling and practicing they were able to perform a version of it. The video is a recording of this process as well as a glimpse of their interaction and physical surroundings.

This piece is a metaphor for all forms of clumsy and forced cultural and political acquiescence that various individuals and governments have had to display towards the US in the past 3 years. The Scottish Pipe Band is a colonial legacy that still exists in Pakistan. Now, unattached to the military these band musicians play Indian music tunes at weddings.

Read Less

An Unforeseen Situation, 2015

6 min 42 sec

An Unforeseen Situation refers to a series of orchestrated mass events and spectacular individual feats hosted by the Punjab Ministry of Sports in 2014 during which multiple world records were reportedly broken by Pakistan.

Read More

Picking up from the popular rumours, newspaper clippings and video footage surrounding the events, the artist spins her own version of the events as they unfolded. 

Read Less

The Distance from Here, 2009

12 min

The Distance from Here is a reflection on the psychology of visa waiting rooms, embassy protocols and the nervous anticipation of visa applicants who are hoping to access international travel from cities in South Asia.

Read More

Gleaned from frequent visits to the ‘Diplomatic Enclave’ in Islamabad, Abidi gently observes the gestures of her fellow visa applicants, their conversations and questions, the spontaneous local economy that props up to enable the time of waiting and preparation, and the forbidding architecture and processes of permission that strip people of their belongings, and separate and organize them into obedient bodies. This is an homage to everyone who feels scared and unsure about whether they will ever get to make their journey.

Read Less

Opening 27 June 2021

Shan Pipe Band Learns the Star Spangled Banner, 2004

7 min 30 sec

In November of 2003, the artist commissioned a brass pipe band in Lahore to learn how to play the American National Anthem, a piece that was not a part of their existing repertoire.

Read More

Over an afternoon’s sitting of listening to a recording of the music that had been provided them, and after much fumbling and practicing they were able to perform a version of it. The video is a recording of this process as well as a glimpse of their interaction and physical surroundings.

This piece is a metaphor for all forms of clumsy and forced cultural and political acquiescence that various individuals and governments have had to display towards the US in the past 3 years. The Scottish Pipe Band is a colonial legacy that still exists in Pakistan. Now, unattached to the military these band musicians play Indian music tunes at weddings.

Read Less

An Unforeseen Situation, 2015

6 min 42 sec

An Unforeseen Situation refers to a series of orchestrated mass events and spectacular individual feats hosted by the Punjab Ministry of Sports in 2014 during which multiple world records were reportedly broken by Pakistan.

Read More

Picking up from the popular rumours, newspaper clippings and video footage surrounding the events, the artist spins her own version of the events as they unfolded. 

Read Less

The Distance from Here, 2009

12 min

The Distance from Here is a reflection on the psychology of visa waiting rooms, embassy protocols and the nervous anticipation of visa applicants who are hoping to access international travel from cities in South Asia.

Read More

Gleaned from frequent visits to the ‘Diplomatic Enclave’ in Islamabad, Abidi gently observes the gestures of her fellow visa applicants, their conversations and questions, the spontaneous local economy that props up to enable the time of waiting and preparation, and the forbidding architecture and processes of permission that strip people of their belongings, and separate and organize them into obedient bodies. This is an homage to everyone who feels scared and unsure about whether they will ever get to make their journey.

Read Less

Shan Pipe Band Learns the Star Spangled Banner, 2004

7 min 30 sec

In November of 2003, the artist commissioned a brass pipe band in Lahore to learn how to play the American National Anthem, a piece that was not a part of their existing repertoire.

Read More

Over an afternoon’s sitting of listening to a recording of the music that had been provided them, and after much fumbling and practicing they were able to perform a version of it. The video is a recording of this process as well as a glimpse of their interaction and physical surroundings.

This piece is a metaphor for all forms of clumsy and forced cultural and political acquiescence that various individuals and governments have had to display towards the US in the past 3 years. The Scottish Pipe Band is a colonial legacy that still exists in Pakistan. Now, unattached to the military these band musicians play Indian music tunes at weddings.

Read Less

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Born in 1971, Karachi, Pakistan, and now working between Berlin and Karachi, Bani Abidi uses video and photography to comment upon politics and culture, often through humorous and absurd vignettes. She studied visual art at the National College of Arts in Lahore and at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Her work has been exhibited widely in solo and group shows internationally. Solo shows have taken place at Sharjah Art Foundation, Shrajah; Gropius Bau, Berlin; Kunsthaus Hamburg, Hamburg; Dallas Contemporary, Dallas, Texas; Kunstverein Arnsberg, The Baltic, Gateshead; Experimenter, Kolkata; Green Cardamom, London, amongst others. Select group shows include, Searching for Stars Amongst the Crescents, Experimenter, Kolkata (2019); I Wish to let you fall out of my hands, Experimenter, Kolkata, 2018; Digging Deep, Crossing Far, Kunstraum Bhethanian, Berlin, 2018; Edinburgh Arts Festival, 2016; 8th Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art, 2014; In Plain Sight, Smack Mellon, NY, 2014; Lines of Control, Nasher Museum, Duke University, 2013; No Country, Guggenheim Museum, NY, 2013; dOCUMENTA 13, 2012; Kochi Muziris Biennial, 2012; Blockbuster: Cinema for Exhibitions, Mexico, 2011; Where Three Dreams Cross, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, 2005; Xth Lyon Biennale, Lyon, France, 2009; 7th Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju, South Korea, 2008; Thermocline of Art – New Asian Waves, ZKM, Karlsruhe,Germany, 2007; Singapore Biennale, Singapore, 2006; Sub-Contingent – The South Asian SubContinent in Contemporary Art, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, Italy, 2006; Contemporary Commonwealth, National Gallery of Victoria, Australia, 2006; 3rd Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale, Fukuoka, Japan, 2005 amongst several others.

Her work is in collections of the Museum of Modern Art – NY, Guggenheim Museum – NY, The British Museum, TATE Modern, The Spencer Museum of Art, The Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, The Burger Collection, Devi Arts Foundation, Margulies Collection amongst several other private and public collections. She was artist in Residence at DAAD Artists Residency, Berlin in 2011–2012.

Subscribe to SOUTH SOUTH Newsletter