Tai Shani’s multidisciplinary practice, comprising performance, film, photography and installation, revolves around experimental narrative texts. Shani creates violent, erotic and fantastical images told in a dense, floral language which re-imagines female otherness as a perfect totality, set in a world complete with cosmologies, myth and histories that negate patriarchal narratives. These alternate between familiar stylistic tropes and structures and theoretical prose in order to explore the construction of subjectivity, excess and the affects of the epic as the ground for a post-patriarchal realism.
Tai Shani’s project DC Productions (2014-2019) proposed an allegorical city of women, it was an experimental and expanded adaptation of Christine de Pizan’s 1405 pioneering feminist book, The Book of the City of Ladies within which Christine builds a city for notable women drawn from a medieval conception of history, where fact, fiction and myth are blurred. This non-hierarchical approach also determined the construction of the characters and narrative of DC. The collected texts were published in 2019 as Our Fatal Magic.
Tai Shani is an artist living and working in London. She is the joint 2019 Turner Prize winner together with Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Helen Cammock and Oscar Murillo. In 2019 Tai was a Max Mara prize nominee. Her work has been shown at British Art Show 09, Touring (2021), CentroCentro, Madrid (2019-20), Turner Contemporary, UK (2019); Grazer Kunst Verein, Austria (2019); Nottingham Contemporary, U.K. (2019); Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Italy (2019); Glasgow International, UK (2018); Tenstakonsthall, Sweden (2017), Wysing Arts Centre, UK (2017); Serpentine Galleries, London (2016); Tate, London (2016); and Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2016).