Turner Contemporary , 17 November 2019
DC: Semiramis is an epic and episodic project that has come to define the last five years of Shani’s practice. A series of works with interlinked stories and mythologies, DC envisions a world neither completely divorced from our own, nor tied to our own history, or our future.
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 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.
Each episode focuses on one of the characters and is delivered through prose monologues which are violent, erotic and filled with fantastical images that re-imagine a world complete with interlinked cosmologies, myth and histories.
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’s Eat Grandma’.
The streamed episode is DC: Paradise from staged within Shani’s installation as part of the Turner Prize exhibition.
DC: Semiramis contains nudity, explicit language of a sexual and violent nature not suitable for under 18s