Zina Saro-Wiwa

Mourning Class
Installation View at Nikolaj Kunsthal, Copenhagen, 2015

Multi-channel video installation, 20mins 32secs.

The Mourning Class series is a set of video performances that explore mourning rituals and address the role of performance in grieving. The first in the series is Mourning Class: Nollywood. This piece arose from Zina Saro-Wiwa’s interest in Nollywood and the African emotional landscape. The close-up of crying face is a classic nollywood trope. A trademark of the genre. The sobbing female figure, a grieving widow, a repentant woman of the night, the dutiful, but put-upon, wife, the performance of pain – close up – forms the emotional backbone of Nollywood film.

For this installation, each actress was asked to sit in front of the camera – baring their shoulders and covering their heads – and cry when prompted by Zina. They needed to produce real tears and engage with the camera as much as possible during the process, turning their emotions into a true performance as well as a test of endurance. The work explores the role of performance in expressing grief, drawing the viewer into the territory between the emotive and the emotional. The minimal, ghostly sound leaving room for the viewer to engage with the physical performance of grief. The lack of narrative and context but direct engagement of the subject also draws out the viewer’s own personal narratives engineering a form of catharsis.

Mourning Class: Nollywood has been shown at Location One Gallery, The Pulitzer Foundation, The New Museum, NYC for Transition 50, Museum of Art and Design, NYC, Arles Photo Festival and was chosen for the back cover of The Progress of Love catalogue.



Judy Chicago

The Dinner Party, 1974-1979
Brooklyn Museum

Judy Chicago’s original concept for The Dinner Party was multi-faceted in that her goal was to introduce the richness of women’s heritage into the culture in three ways; a monumental work of art, a book and a film because she had discovered so much unknown information. The work of art, that was eventually housed at the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum, consists of a series of Entryway Banners, the ceremonial table representing 39 important historical female figures, the Heritage Panels, which elucidate the contributions of the 999 women on the Heritage Floor, and the Acknowledgement Panels that identify Judy Chicago’s assistants and collaborators. Together, these components celebrate the many aspects of women’s history and contributions.

Through an unprecedented worldwide grass-roots movement, The Dinner Party was exhibited in 16 venues in 6 countries on 3 continents to a viewing audience of over one million people. The Dinner Party – which has been the subject of countless books and articles – is now permanently housed in the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum where it draws thousands of visitors from all over the globe.

Christine de Pisan plate, china paint on porcelain, 15 inch diameter

Ethel Smyth plate, china paint on porcelain, 14 inch diameter

Installation View of Wing Three, featuring Margaret Sanger and Natalie Barney place settings

Installation View of Wing Three, featuring Virginia Woolf and Georgia O’Keeffe place settings


Pipilotti Rist

Meet the sensuous Swiss video artist Pipilotti Rist, whose work full of colour and playfulness. She here argues that videos can have painterly qualities and tells the story of one of her most famous videos, where a woman smashes car windows with a flower.

“There is no rule for when and where I get my ideas – some are survival tactics, some are psychotic tics, some are very well thought over.” The video ‘Ever is Over All’ (1997) was Rist’s response to a chief editor, who wouldn’t let her do the things she wished to do – even though he had given her a carte blanche. She felt like smashing his car, but instead chose to make a video, which challenged and even altered her aggression: “That was my catharsis.”

“I’m not more colourful than life is.” The screen is like “a moving glass painting” to Rist, who enjoys the playful use of colours. Moreover, she feels that a lot of people distance themselves from colour, even finding it intimidating. Rist, however, wants to fight for colour: “They call it superficial, but actually it’s dangerous.”

Elisabeth Charlotte “Pipilotti” Rist (b. 1962) is a Swiss visual artist, who works with video, film and moving images, which are often displayed as projections. She takes her name from Pippi Longstockings, heroine of Swedish author Astrid Lindgren’s much-loved series of children’s books. Early on in her career she began making super 8 films, which generally last only a few minutes and contain alterations in their colours, speed and sound. Among the themes her work centres on are gender, sexuality and the human body. In 1996 her work was first featured in the Venice Biennial, where she was awarded the ‘Premio 2000 Prize’. Other awards include the ‘Wolfgang Hahn Prize’ (1999), the ‘Joan Miró Prize’ (2009) and the ‘Cutting the Edge Award’ at the 27th Annual Miami International Film Festival (2010). Rist’s works are a part of prominent museums worldwide such as MoMA in New York City and Tate Modern in London.

For more about Pipilotti Rist see: http://pipilottirist.net/

Pipilotti Rist was interviewed by Christian Lund at the Hayward Gallery in London, November 2011.

Gravity Be My Friend

Pixel Forest

Mercy Garden


Olafur Eliasson

The Undertain Museum

A visual exploration of Olafur Eliasson’s large-scale interactive installation, “The uncertain museum” at Duke University’s Nasher Museum of Art. Eliasson’s work explores the relationship between spectator and object. “When preserving the freedom of each person to experience something that may differ from the experience of others, art will be able to have a significant impact on both the individual and society,” said Eliasson. The installation is part of the museum’s permanent collection and will be on display until September 30, 2012.

Film & Assembly: D.L. Anderson
Text: The Nasher Museum of Art
Featuring: American Dance Festival faculty member Gwen Welliver and her composition lab students,
Soundtrack: “Symphony of The Planets 2” | Recordings from the Voyager spacecraft | NASA (http://blogs.howstuffworks.com/2009/09/15/symphonies-of-the-planets/)

Olafur Eliasson, The uncertain museum, 2004. Steel, painted wooden floor, wire, motors, glass/mirror disks, spotlight, projection foil, 9 feet, 8 inches high x 14 feet, 7 inches diameter. Purchase, Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University Fund for Acquisitions and funds provided by Blake Byrne, T’57, Monica M. and Richard D. Segal, Mr. and Mrs. J. Tomilson Hill, and Bill and Ruth True. 2006.4.1

The Weather Project
Tate Modern Installation

Your rainbow panorama, 2006-2011 – ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Denmark, 2011


Bouchra Khalili

The Mapping Journey

The Museum of Modern Art

This exhibition presents, in its entirety, Bouchra Khalili’s The Mapping Journey Project (2008–11), a series of videos that details the stories of eight individuals who have been forced by political and economic circumstances to travel illegally and whose covert journeys have taken them throughout the Mediterranean basin. Khalili (Moroccan-French, born 1975) encountered her subjects by chance in transit hubs across Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. Following an initial meeting, the artist invited each person to narrate his or her journey and trace it in thick permanent marker on a geopolitical map of the region. The videos feature the subjects’ voices and their hands sketching their trajectories across the map, while their faces remain unseen.

The stories are presented on individual screens positioned throughout MoMA’s Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron Atrium. In this way, a complex network of migration is narrated by those who have experienced it, refusing the forms of representation and visibility demanded by systems of surveillance, international border control, and the news media. Shown together, the videos function as an alternative geopolitical map defined by the precarious lives of stateless people. Khalili’s work takes on the challenge of developing critical and ethical approaches to questions of citizenship, community, and political agency.


Moroccan-French artist Bouchra Khalili discusses notions of borders and displacement with Emma Gifford-Mead, Lisson Gallery’s Head of Exhibitions. The talk was held on the occasion of Khalili’s first solo exhibition in the UK at Lisson Gallery London (27 January – 18 March 2017). Video by Laura Bushell.

Constellation Series – silkscreen prints

Moroccan-French artist Bouchra Khalili was born in 1975, in Morocco.
Raised between Paris and Casablanca, she later studied Cinema at the Sorbonne Nouvelle, and
Visual Arts at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Arts, Paris-Cergy.
She lives and works between Paris and Berlin.

Bouchra Khalili’s work in video, mixed media installations, photography and prints, combines a conceptual approach with a documentary practice to explore issues of clandestine existences, and political minorities.
In her work, she articulates language, subjectivity, discourse and speech, transitional territories and transit zones, investigating the interrelation between contemporary migrations and colonial
history, physical and imaginary geography.

Her work has been shown extensively around the world, including recently at Intense Proximity – La Triennale, Palais de Tokyo (Paris, 2012) ; The 18th Biennale of Sydney (2012) ; The MoMA as part of the film exhibition « Mapping Subjectivity » (New York, 2011) ; The 10th Sharjah Biennial (2011) ; The Gulbenkian Foundation (Lisbon, 2011) ; The Liverpool Biennial (2010) ; The Studio Museum, New York (2010) ; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit (2010) ; INIVA, London (2010) ; Gallery 44, Toronto (2010) ; The Reina Sofia National Museum, Madrid (2009) ; and The Queens Museum of Art, New York (2009), among others. In 2012-2013, she is commissioned by The New Perez Miami Art Museum to produce an artwork for the inauguration of the museum in december 2013.



Yayoi Kusama

Artist Yayoi Kusama’s interactive Obliteration Room begins as an entirely white space, furnished as a monochrome living room, which people are then invited to ‘obliterate’ with multi-coloured stickers.

Over the course of a few weeks the room was transformed from a blank canvas into an explosion of colour, with thousands of spots stuck over every available surface.

TateShots produced this time-lapse video of the Obliteration Room covering the first few weeks of its presentation at Tate Modern in 2012. It was first conceived as a project for children, and was first staged at the Queensland Art Gallery in 2002.

Infinity Room

Marcel Broodthaers

Marcel Broodthaers (Belgian, 1924–1976) worked primarily as a poet until the age of 40, when he turned to the visual arts. Over the next 12 years, his work retained a poetic quality and a sense of humour that balanced its conceptual framework; for his first solo exhibition, he encased unsold copies of his latest poetry book, Pense-Bête (Memory aid, 1964), in plaster, turning them into a sculpture. Broodthaers continued to invent ways to give material form to language while working across mediums—poetry, sculpture, painting, artist’s books, printmaking, and film. From 1968 to 1972, he operated the Musée d’Art Moderne, Département des Aigles (Museum of Modern Art, Department of Eagles), a traveling museum dedicated not to his work as an artist but to the role of the institution itself and the function of art in society. In the final years of his life, Broodthaers created immersive “décors,” large-scale displays in which examples of his past work were often unified with objects borrowed for the occasion. This exhibition—the first Broodthaers retrospective organized in New York—will reunite key works from all aspects of his art making to underscore the complex trajectory of his career, which despite its brief duration proved enormously influential to future generations of artists.

Un jardin d’hiver II

For the Décors series, Broodthaers inhabited the role of sceneographer, creating disquieting theatrical compositions using domestic objects. ‘Un Jardin d’Hiver’ parodies a traditional museum or gallery space modelled on the late 19th-century palm court, once popular in wealthy European homes. A descendent of the Wunderkammer, the palm court marked the transition of private collection to public museum. Broodthaers’ assembly of potted palms, framed images of different categories of animals (elephants, camels, insects, exotic birds), and antique display cases clearly tie the installation to that period of colonial conquest, characterised by a passion for collecting and classifying unusual objects from around the world. Yet, the room also evokes a tired, modern museum space – in one corner a television monitor displays a closed circuit film recorded by a surveillance camera. Installed amongst the plants and a few rows of chairs, the monitor mimics the coupling of decorative decoy and surveillance that so often marks banal spaces that hover between public and private, such as waiting rooms, offices or lobbies. The potted palm, once an exotic symbol of power, by the mid-1970s had become the most commonly available type of decoration used everywhere from banks to cafes. In another corner, a neglected red carpet hints nostalgically at former glory and ceremony.