KW Institute for Contemporary Art
09 Feb - 05 May 2019
In collaboration with MoMA PS1 New York, KW presents a solo exhibition around the work of the late Iranian theater director Reza Abdoh (1963–1995). Over a career that spanned twelve years, Abdoh pushed his actors—and audiences—to their limits. His aesthetic language was relentlessly, recklessly inventive, borrowing from fairy tales, BDSM, talk shows, raves, video art, and the history of avant-garde theater. The hallucinatory dreamscapes he produced spoke forcefully and eloquently to the ugly political realities of his time—from government-sanctioned racism to the Reagan administration’s refusal to acknowledge the AIDS crisis to warmongering at home and abroad.
Reza Abdoh was already one of the most compelling figures in American avant-garde theater when he died of AIDS in 1995 at the age of thirty-two. Near the end of his life, Abdoh insisted that he didn’t want his plays to be restaged. Traces of his work were to be found on videotapes passed around experimental theater circles, many of which serve as the basis of the exhibition at hand. The exhibition at KW around Abdoh’s work is co-produced with MoMA PS1, where it was on display from June 3 to September 3, 2018.
Curators: Bidoun (Negar Azimi, Tiffany Malakooti, Babak Radboy), Krist Gruijthuijsen