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Spring at Grazer Kunstverein

Tai Shani
Tragodía
13 March – 15 May 2020

In accordance with the regulation of the Austrian federal government on dealing with the corona virus and the guidelines and recommendations of the city of Graz, the Grazer Kunstverein will remain closed until further notice.


Image courtesy of Tai Shani.

Tai Shani works with sculpture, installation, performance, moving image, text, spoken word, and virtual reality in her multidisciplinary artistic practice. Using the forms of science-fiction, anthropology, feminist and queer theory, Shani blurs fact and fiction, re-imagining cultural archetypes and re-interpreting their narratives with eroticism, violence and fantasy. Her newly commissioned work Tragodía contemplates kinship, care, mortality and privacy, exploring how intimacy is a site for radical transformation. Shani has produced an epic virtual reality play, with sound design by Maxwell Sterling, voicing urgent personal and philosophical ideas. Shani uses the narrative device of virtual reality, combine with exquisite sculptural artefacts that are layered like props across a dream-like landscape. Shani explores the construction of subjectivity, family relationships, and the centrality of love and death in a post-patriarchal reality.

Tai Shani (born 1976) is an artist based in London. Inspired by historical characters and narratives, Shani creates dark utopian world, looking at femininity and thinking about what can be salvaged from the history of femininity. In 2019 she was one of four artists to be awarded the prestigious Turner Prize. Shani has presented her work extensively in the UK and abroad, recent exhibitions and commissions include Netwerk Aalst (2019), Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo (2019), Athens Biennial, (2018), Nottingham Contemporary (2018), Glasgow International (2018), Wysing Arts Centre (2017), Tensta Konsthall, Stockholm (2016), RADAR commission, Loughborough University (2016), Serpentine Galleries (2016), Tate Britain (2016), Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt (2015), Southbank Centre, London (2014–15), Arnolfini, Bristol (2013), Matt’s Gallery, London (2012), FRAC Nord-Pas de Calais and Loop Festival, Barcelona (2011), The Barbican, London (2011), ICA, London (2011). Shani’s exhibition at Grazer Kunstverein marks the artist’s first institutional show in Austria.

Tragodía credits: Soundtrack: Maxwell Sterling. Voice Actors: Ghost Child: Maya Lubinsky, Grandmother Eve, Mother, Aunt: Eva Eklöf, Oedipuss the Cat: Dasha Loyko. VR Production: partyTime.jpeg (Adam James Sinclair, Mikhail Polshaw). Facial Performances: Lotti V Closs.

Co-produced with Temple Bar Gallery + Studios, Dublin and Jindřich Chalupecký Society, Czech Republic.