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Zarina Bhimji - Whitechapel Gallery catalogue 2012

Catalogue relating to an exhibition, 2012
Published by: Whitechapel Gallery/Ridinghouse
Year published: 2012
Number of pages: 128
ISBN: 978 1 905464 51 7

image of Zarina Bhimji - Whitechapel Gallery catalogue 2012

From the back cover of this publication: “Landscapes and buildings haunted by their layered histories are the protagonists in British artist Zarina Bhimji’s photographs and large-scale film installations with India and East Africa the repeat locations for her foray into the archaeology of place. Sound and picture combine to transform image into metaphor, politics into poetry. This volume presents the first overview of Bhimji’s work, from early installation pieces such as She Loved to Breathe - Pure Silence (1987), to her critically acclaimed Out of Blue (2002), first shown at Documenta 11, and her much anticipated latest work Yellow Patch (2011). Published on the occasion of a major survey exhibition spanning 25 years of Bhimji’s career, this volume includes an essay by art historian and writer TJ Demos in which he analyses what he calls Bhimji’s ‘Cinema of Affect’, as well as an in-depth conversation between the artist and the exhibition’s curators Achim Borchardt-Hume and Kathleen Bühler.”

Substantial catalogue for major mid-career retospective of work by Zarina Bhimji, organised by Whitechapel Gallery in collaboration with Kunstmuseum Bern. The exhibition opened at Whitechapel Gallery, its dates being 19 January - 9 March 2012. It then toured to Kunstmuseum Bern, Switzerland, its dates there being 1 June - 2 September 2012. The Whitechapel Gallery exhibition largely coincided with another exhibition by Zarina BhimjiZarina Bhimji: Yellow Patch, 20 January - 14 April 2012, and the accompanying publication reflected input from all three venues.

The exhibition brought together key photographic series and film installations made by Bhimji over the course of a quarter of a century, a number of these works being represented in this publication.

From the Foreword, written by Iwona Blazwick OBE, Director, Whitechapel Gallery, Dr. Matthias Frehner, Director, Kunstmuseum Bern, and Stephen Snoddy, Director, the New Art Gallery Walsall:

“Architecture and landscape are the protagonists in the quiet yet profound dramas that unfold through Zarina Bhimji’s films and photographs. A building might feature in her work as a historic monument; as a composition of texture and colour; or as an atmospheric play of darkness and light. As our eyes explore the surface of her remarkable images, however, we can also see the unmistakable traces of incarceration, death or exodus, but inflected with deliberate ambiguity and transience.

Like many artists and writers who have experienced exile, Bhimji combines her subjective experience with a detached perspective on the flows and convulsions of history. Born in Uganda into a family of Indian descent, she left Africa for Britain in 1974. As a result, her framework of reference is unusually wide, encompassing three different continents, and reaches back to the British empire and the migration that followed in its wake as much as to a postcolonial present.

Bhimji’s ravishingly beautiful and painterly panoramic shots of different landscapes, and her close-ups of buildings worked over by time, are the result of a process of poetic distillation where place (in this case East Africa and South Asia) becomes the material itself, and new ways of seeing can emerge. She captures the decay of abandoned structures of power as they surrender to the forces of entropy. Bhimji’s cinematic vistas are complemented by a soundscape of news broadcasts, ambient sound and music that creates a second layer of narrative. Sound and picture combine to transform image into metaphor, politics into poetry. This book marks not only the world premiere of Bhimji’s latest film installation, Yellow Patch, (2011) but also presents the first major overview of her 25 year-long career. Aside from Yellow Patchand the critically acclaimed Out of Blue (2002) it also includes a wide selection of the celebrated photographs which preceded and continue to inform her moving-image works.”

Contents as follows:

Foreword, written by Iwona Blazwick OBE, Director, Whitechapel Gallery, Dr. Matthias Frehner, Director, Kunstmuseum Bern, and Stephen Snoddy, Director, the New Art Gallery Walsall:

Zarina Bhimji: Cinema of Affect, text by TJ Demos

From Politics to Petry: Conversation between Zarina Bhimji and the exhibition’s curators Achim Borchardt-Hume (Whitechapel Gallery) and Kathleen Bühler (Kunstmuseum Bern).

Works (Extensive selection of plates and film stills)

She Loved to Breathe - Pure Silence
Untitled
Cleaning the Garden
1822-Now
Out of Blue
Love
Waiting
Yellow Patch
Red & Wet
Seascapes

List of Works

Biography and Bibliography

Acknowledgements and Credits

This particular copy of the catalogue was formerly in the library of UCA, University for the Creative Arts, Farnham, Surrey. The copy is stamped ‘WITHDRAWN FROM STOCK’.

Related people

»  Zarina Bhimji

Born, 1963 in Mbarara, Uganda

Related exhibitions

Related venues

»  Whitechapel Art Gallery

London, United Kingdom