With regard to seminal works on view in the current exhibition "They Died Laughing," curator Natasha Ginwala and artist Bani Abidi talk about artistic processes and filmmaking aesthetics.
Bani Abidi draws on hidden chapters in the lives of minor protagonists across the urban terrain of Pakistan through fictionalized accounts and borrowed stories from everyday life. At times, the characters in her installations take up ironic roles that upend the theatricality of bureaucratic protocol, geopolitical tensions and flexing of political power. “Memory is not an instrument for exploring the past but its theatre” (Walter Benjamin). Using video as her tool for mnemonic recall, Abidi plots the visual archeology of cities she has lived in, while embedding the medium with a poetic function.