Tai Shani: Semiramis
20 July - 14 October
The Tetley, Leeds

Tai Shani: Semiramis

Tai Shani presents her first major solo exhibition in a public gallery at The Tetley in Leeds. It presents the culmination of her ongoing project Dark Continent, for which we undertook extensive research whilst in residence at Wysing in Summer 2017.  

The exhbition includes an immersive installation in The Tetley’s atrium, which features sculpture made for her Wysing two-person exhibition Andromedan Sad Girl with Florence Peake in Autumn 2017, as well as new film works, posters and a selection of artworks drawn together by Shani.

Over the last four years Tai Shani has been developing a body of work that takes Christine de Pizan’s 1405 proto-feminist text The Book of the City of Ladies as its starting point. Pizan created an allegorical city of notable women drawn from a medieval conception of history, where fact, fiction and myth are blurred. Characters from fiction live side by side with female historical figures, collectively making an early case for gender equality.

In Semiramis, Shani presents twelve films of twelve characters, including The Woman on the Edge of Time, The Vampyre, The Medieval Mystic, Siren and Phantasmagoregasm, presented through performed monologues with an original score by Let’s Eat Grandma.

The often violent, erotic and fantastical narratives, mix science-fiction, anthropology, feminist and queer theory, to re-imagine a world with interlinked cosmologies, myth and histories. Throughout, Semiramis privileges sensation, experience and interiority, undermining patriarchal conceptions of narrative history to propose a possible post-patriarchal future.

Co-commissioned by The Tetley and Glasgow International, in collaboration with Nottingham Contemporary and Wysing Arts Centre. Supported by Arts Council England and the Royal College of Art.

Full details on the exhibition can be found on The Tetley website here.