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.
The often violent, erotic and fantastical narratives, mix science-fiction, anthropology, feminist and queer theory, 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.