Adelita Husni Bey: Chiron

Adelita Husni Bey: CHIRON

Opening Reception: September 21, 6-9pm

This exhibition presents a selection of films by Adelita Husni Bey (b. 1985, Milan, Italy), which includes the West Coast premiere of a major new work, titled Chiron (2019), commissioned by the New Museum. The exhibition also includes Husni Bey’s seminal work Postcards from the Desert Island (2011) and 2265 (2015). 

In her practice, Husni Bey makes use of noncompetitive pedagogical models to organize workshops and produce publications, radio broadcasts, and archives that often form the basis of her exhibitions and films. Adopting creative writing and experimental exercises, she is inspired by the Theatre of the Oppressed, a radical theater form developed by Brazilian practitioner Augusto Boal in the 1970s. 

For Chiron, throughout the fall of 2018 Husni Bey conducted workshops with members of UnLocal, a nonprofit organization that provides free legal representation to undocumented immigrants in New York City. Conversations and actions developed from the initial question of what it means to “carry each other’s weight”— in exercises such as “siren’s song,” the lawyers vocalized experiences of trauma and explored the meaning of “dependency,” and were instructed to touch each other’s bodies in destabilizing ways while struggling to remain standing. Through dilemmas and difficulties faced by the lawyers, Husni Bey explores ways to de-individualize pain and collectively understand its political ramifications. Chiron poignantly considers issues of emotional depletion as a consequence of U.S. foreign policy actions, and continues Husni Bey’s ongoing explorations of the complexity of collectivity and the human and social consequences of imperialist ventures. 

This exhibition is curated by Helga Christoffersen, Executive Director of Art Hub Copenhagen. 

The presentation at REDCAT is organized by Carmen Amengual, Exhibitions Manager. 

This exhibition follows Adelita Husni Bey’s recent solo presentation at the New Museum, for which Chiron (2019) was commissioned. 

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