June 2, 2019 - Gropius Bau - Bani Abidi: They Died Laughing / Garden of Earthly Delights
June 2, 2019

Gropius Bau

(1) Bani Abidi, Karachi Series I, 2009. Lightboxes, 50.8 x 76.2 cm. © Bani Abidi. Courtesy the artist & Experimenter, Kolkata. (2) Pipilotti Rist, Homo sapiens sapiens (still), 2005. Audio-video installation. © Pipilotti Rist. Courtesy the artist, Hauser & Wirth and Luhring Augustine. (3) Rashid Johnson, Antoine's Organ, 2016. Black steel, grow lights, plants, wood, shea butter, books, monitors, rugs, piano. Installation View, Rashid Johnson. Fly Away, Hauser & Wirth, New York NY, 2016. © Rashid Johnson. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth.

Bani Abidi
They Died Laughing
June 6–September 22, 2019

Garden of Earthly Delights
July 26–December 1, 2019

Gropius Bau
Niederkirchnerstraße 7
10963 Berlin

T +49 30 25486124

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Bani Abidi: They Died Laughing
Bani Abidi’s exhibition They Died Laughing is an extensive presentation of the artist’s works, bringing together moving image and print-based works that span two decadesAbidi 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 about 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, patrotism and megalomania.
Curated by Natasha Ginwala, Associate Curator
Funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation

A public programme accompanies Bani Abidi: They Died Laughing

“The Man Who Talked till He Disappeared”
Bani Abidi in conversation with Natasha Ginwala
Tuesday, August 9, 5pm at the Gropius Bau

“Of Restless Cities and Ingenious Characters” 
Saturday, August 10, at daadgalerie
A symposium on the artistic practice of Bani Abidi through the lens of fiction, sonic memory, security infrastructure, South Asian history and Islamic philosophy. With Vazira Fazila-Yacoobali Zamindar, Dr. Adnan Madani, Dr. Omar Kasmani, Brandon LaBelle, Adania Shibli, Niloufar Tajeri, Simone Wille
Organised by Natasha Ginwala, Associate Curator, Bani Abidi and Melanie Roumiguière, Head of Visual Arts of DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program


Garden of Earthly Delights
The Gropius Bau’s exhibition Garden of Earthly Delights will see over 15 international artists using the space of the garden as a metaphor for the state of the world, in an exploration of the complexities of our chaotic and increasingly precarious present.

With works by Maria Thereza Alves, Korakrit Arunanondchai, Hicham Berrada, John Cage, Tacita Dean, Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg, Lungiswa Gqunta, Rashid Johnson, Yayoi Kusama, Louise Lawler, Isabel Lewis, Renato Leotta, Jumana Manna, Uriel Orlow, Heather Phillipson, Pipilotti Rist, Maaike Schoorel, Taro Shinoda, Zheng Bo as well as a painting from the school of Hieronymus Bosch and others

For centuries, artists have worked with the theme of the garden as a place of inspiration and critical reflection. In today’s era, defined by radical climate change and migratory flows, the garden can be seen as a place of paradise and exile, reflecting within its borders topics as pressing as the anthropocene, seed politics, the legacies of colonialism and historical segregation.

Alongside the classical reading of the garden as a secluded and circumscribed place of yearning, full of meditative, spiritual, and philosophical possibilities, it is viewed in the exhibition as a place of duality and contradiction; a threshold between reality and fantasy, utopia and dystopia, harmony and chaos, eros and perversion, naturalness and artificiality, between being shut out and being included. These myriad perspectives are reflected in the selection of media, encompassing installation, performance, film, sound, painting, photography, drawing, and sculpture.
Curated by Stephanie Rosenthal, Director, with Clara Meister, Associate Curator, Director's Office
Funded by Hauptstadtkulturfonds 

The public programme for Garden of Earthly Delights kicks off July 26–July 27, 2019
Following the opening of the exhibition Garden of Earthly Delights, the Gropius Bau will host a two day programme of events on Friday, July 26 and Saturday, July 27 that embark on a thematic tour of the garden: artist talks, conversations and a series of short impulse lectures raise questions about conceptions of paradise, ecological change, and post-colonial implications. In the atrium, piano music activates Rashid Johnson’s installation Antoine’s Organ throughout the day. The 2019 In House: Artist in Residence, Otobong Nkanga will be in conversation with the artist Maria Thereza Alves as part of her project Carved to Flow: Germination. All accompanied by a culinary exploration of Earthly Delights from the restaurant, Beba at the Gropius Bau. 

The Gropius Bau is part of the Berliner Festspiele.
The Berliner Festspiele is funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.

Gropius Bau
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