Tai Shani creates a large-scale immersive installation that also functions as a site for performance. The work is an experimental adaptation of Christine de Pizan’s 1405 proto-feminist text The Book of the City of Ladies.
Twelve performers play characters, including The Neanderthal Hermaphrodite,The Medieval Mystic, The Vampyre, Phantasmagoregasm, and Paradise to create a 12 part performance and film series, depicting an allegorical city of women, a space to imagine an alternative history which privileges, sensation, experience and interiority, undermining patriarchal conceptions of narrative history to propose a possible post-patriarchal future.
The performances will take place on the opening three days of the festival, with the sequences filmed and the documentation subsequently presented alongside the installation.
Each episode focuses on one of the characters and is delivered through prose monologues which are violent and erotic and filled with fantastical images, told in a dense, floral language which re-imagines a world complete with interlinked cosmologies, myth and histories that reject patriarchal positions.
Drawing on multiple reference points including feminist science fiction, post-modern architecture, and feminist and queer theory, this is Shani’s most ambitious and multi-layered work to date and includes an original score by "Let'sEat Grandma".
This project will premiere at Glasgow International and travel to The Tetley in Leeds as a solo show, with further partial presentations at Nottingham Contemporary as part of their Still I Rise with additional screenings at Wysing Arts Centre and the Whitechapel Gallery, London.
Supported by Arts Council England and the Henry Moore Foundation.