Listen to an excerpt of Tai Shani’s My Bodily Remains. The audio recording of this ‘secular prayer’ has been released as one mark of solidarity with the Palestinian people. See a list of resources for ways to support Palestine here.
At the Ignota Gathering – The Spiral, Tai Shani’s offering took the form of a special invocation to the incomprehensible spiral of life in the namelessness of the mystery from My Bodily Remains, Your Bodily Remains and All the Bodily Remains that Ever Were and Ever Will Be (2023), performed by Molly Moody.
Tai Shani’s artistic practice, comprising performance, film, photography, and installation, uses experimental writing as a guiding method. Oscillating between theoretical concepts and visceral details, Shani’s texts attempt to create poetic coordinates in order to cultivate, fragmentary cosmologies of marginalised nonsovereignty. Taking cues from both mournful and undead histories of reproductive labour, illness and solidarity, her work is invested in recovering feminised aesthetic modes – such as the floral, the trippy or the gothic – in a register of utopian militancy. In this vein, the epic, in both its literary long-form and excessive affect, often shapes Shani’s approach: Her long-term projects work through historical and mythical narratives, such as Christine de Pizan’s allegorical city of women or the social history of psychedelic ergot poisoning. Extending into divergent formats and collaborations. Shani’s projects examine desire in its (infra-)structural dimension, exploring a realism that materially fantasises against the patriarchal racial capitalist present. Tai Shani is the joint 2019 Turner Prize winner together with Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Helen Cammock and Oscar Murillo. Her work has been shown extensively in Britain and internationally.