Born in 1971, Karachi, Pakistan, and now working between Berlin and Karachi, Bani Abidi uses video and photography to comment upon politics and culture, often through humorous and absurd vignettes. She studied visual art at the National College of Arts in Lahore and at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Her work has been exhibited widely in solo and group shows internationally. Solo shows have taken place at the Salzburger Kunstverein, Salzburg; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah; Gropius Bau, Berlin; Kunsthaus Hamburg, Hamburg; Dallas Contemporary, Dallas, Texas; Kunstverein Arnsberg, Arnsberg, Germany; The Baltic, Gateshead, England; Experimenter, Kolkata; and Green Cardamom, London, amongst others. Select group shows include The 10th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT10), Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia; The Distance from Here, Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai, 2021; Searching for Stars Amongst the Crescents, Experimenter, Kolkata, 2019; I Wish to let you fall out of my hands, Experimenter, Kolkata, 2018; Digging Deep, Crossing Far, Kunstraum Bethanien, Berlin, 2018; Edinburgh Arts Festival, 2016; 8th Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art, 2014; In Plain Sight, Smack Mellon, New York, 2014; Lines of Control, Nasher Museum, Duke University, Durham, US 2013; No Country, Guggenheim Museum, New York, 2013; dOCUMENTA 13, Kassel, Germany, 2012; Kochi Muziris Biennale, Kochi, India, 2012; Blockbuster: Cinema for Exhibitions, Mexico, 2011; Where Three Dreams Cross, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, 2005; Xth Lyon Biennale, Lyon, France, 2009; 7th Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju, South Korea, 2008; Thermocline of Art: New Asian Waves, ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany, 2007; Singapore Biennale, Singapore, 2006; Sub-Contingent – The South Asian Subcontinent in Contemporary Art, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, Italy, 2006; Contemporary Commonwealth, National Gallery of Victoria, Australia, 2006; 3rd Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale, Fukuoka, Japan, 2005, amongst several others.
Her work is in collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Guggenheim Museum, New York; The British Museum, London; Tate Modern, London; Sharjah Art Foundation; The Spencer Museum of Art; The Fukuoka Asian Art Museum; The Burger Collection; Devi Arts Foundation, Delhi; Margulies Collection, Miami, amongst several other private and public collections. She was artist in Residence at DAAD Artists Residency, Berlin in 2011–2012.