Adelita Husni Bey

Work exhibited in the Trade Fair Palace:

These Conditions / 2022–2023 / 3-channel video installation / HD video, 5.1 audio (35 min 56 s) / support structures / drawing / charcoal, acrylic drawin / seating (dimensions variable) / courtesy of the artist / project supported by the Directorate-General for Contemporary Creativity, the Italian Ministry of Culture under the Italian Council program (2021), Vera List Center for Art and Politics, New York and Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergancy Grant

These Conditions, 2022 – 2023, Biennale Matter of Art 2024, National Gallery Prague – Trade Fair Palace (c) Jonáš Verešpej

Adelita Husni Bey (lives in New York, b. Milan (Italy), 1985) works with the pedagogies of the oppressed that try to empower vulnerable groups. Instead of the traditional teaching situation with teachers and students, she sets up study situations where everyone can share their knowledge and skills. In her latest video work, Adelita organized a workshop for people whose job during the covid pandemic required their physical presence. Together, they developed sketches, conversations and characters. This was in order to discuss their experience during the covid pandemic, their health, work and free time, care and anxiety. The main focus was on how the pandemic connects to social change. During epidemics, we have to follow the rules set by the state, but the artist also highlights how the system is unfair. Some people lack access to medicine, and those working in the care sector aren’t paid enough and face greater risks. Her film explores the idea that various pandemics, from medieval plagues to the contemporary coronavirus, prompt us to think about creating a better world. Throughout history, health and virus crises often lead to periods of unrest, such as the Peasants’ Revolt in 1381 in England, the gravedigger rebellion in Italy in 1631, the AIDS pandemic in the late 20th century, and the current wave of strikes in the global health and care sector. We can see how hospitals, pharmacies, and cemeteries work and seek better solutions on how to organize and to struggle for life.

(c) Manuele Geromini

Adelita Husni-Bey is an artist and pedagogue invested in anarcho-collectivism, theater, and critical legal studies. She organizes workshops and produces publications, broadcasts, and exhibitions using non-competitive pedagogical models through the framework of contemporary art. Involving activists, architects, jurists, schoolchildren, spoken-word poets, actors, urbanists, physical therapists, students, and teachers, her work consists of making sites in which to practice collectively. Her work was part of the Italian pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale (2017), and her most recent solo exhibitions were Maktspill (2020) at Bergen Kunsthall and These Conditions (2022) at the Brooklyn Army Terminal in New York, which was created for the fellowship program of the Vera List Center  and centered on the radical changes in social relations brought about by responses to past and current pandemics. Husni-Bey also participated in the exhibitions Trainings for the Not Yet, BAK, Utrecht (2020); Being: New Photography 2018, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2018); Dreamlands, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2016); The Eighth Climate, 11th Gwangju Biennale (2015); and Really Useful Knowledge, Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid (2014).