The Tetley

Tai Shani: Semiramis

20 July – 14 October 2018

Tai Shani presents her first major solo exhibition in a public gallery, presenting the culmination of her ongoing project Dark Continent, which includes an immersive installation in The Tetley’s atrium, film works, posters and a selection of artworks drawn together by Shani.

Over the last four years Tai Shani has been developing a body of work that takes Christine de Pizan’s 1405 proto-feminist text The Book of the City of Ladies as its starting point. Pizan created an allegorical city of notable women drawn from a medieval conception of history, where fact, fiction and myth are blurred. Characters from fiction live side by side with female historical figures, collectively making an early case for gender equality.

In Semiramis, Shani presents twelve films of twelve characters, including The Woman on the Edge of Time, The Vampyre, The Medieval Mystic, Siren and Phantasmagoregasm, presented through performed monologues with an original score by Let’s Eat Grandma.

The often violent, erotic and fantastical narratives, mix science-fiction, anthropology, feminist and queer theory, to re-imagine a world with interlinked cosmologies, myth and histories. Throughout, Semiramis privileges sensation, experience and interiority, undermining patriarchal conceptions of narrative history to propose a possible post-patriarchal future.


Ultimately Semiramis is likely to offer visitors a very powerful, multi-layered experience – privileging sensation over reason, and overflowing with an enigmatic sense of wonder, energy and exuberance.” Sara Jaspan, Creative Tourist Exhibitions Editor

Reviews from Shani’s work performed at Glasgow International
“See it if you possibly can. Writer, director, costume designer, sculptor and all-round visionary, Shani’s chamber of the mind is spectacular.” – Laura Cumming, The Guardian.

“an effervescent, hypnotic and deeply-moving encounter.” – Louise Long, VOUGE

Co-commissioned by The Tetley and Glasgow International, in collaboration with Nottingham Contemporary and Wysing Arts Centre. Supported by Arts Council England and the Royal College of Art.

Please note the works in Galleries 1–9 contain explict language of a sexual and violent nature, and nudity. Not suitable for under 18s. This content will be signposted and there are lots of activities here for families to do over the summer – click here to find out more.

Contact us if you would like more information about the exhibition –