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Journey Into the East: Barby Asante @ The Showroom

Review relating to an exhibition, 2002
Published by: Arty
Year published: 2002
Number of pages: 3

image of Journey Into the East: Barby Asante @ The Showroom

The Summer 2002 edition of the art fanzine Arty contained this double review of Journey Into the East: Barby Asante @ The Showroom - “Two views of the interactive tea show”. The reviews were written by Cathy Lomax and Alex Michon, Publisher and Deputy Editor of Arty respectively. They appear on pages 40 - 42 of the issue, Arty 7 “The Anarchy Issue”.

From Lomax’s review: “This show aims to make us think about England’s imperial past. Things from which (such as tea) have been assimilated into English everyday culture. We think of tea as an English drink, we don’t think of the women picking the tea for a pittance back in Ceylon (sic). Does this make us bad or could it be that this cultural assimilation is a mind broadening, good thing? Thinking again of the teach yourself English records (which judging by their refeencve to Rupees are aimed at an Indian audience) with their upper class BBC accents, if someone from the subcontinent came to England for the first time speaking like that they would in the words of Zadie Smith be considered “More English than the English”.

In her review, Lomax indulges a troubling use of the pronoun ‘we’, as well as refering to Sri Lanka by its archaic and former name ‘Ceylon’. Michon’s review, whilst glowing, contains the glaring error of referring to a Marvin Gaye track (playing in the exhibition), as What’s Happening. She writes, “And even though everyone and his dog now claims this as their favorite record it still remains one of the most hauntingly spiritual and revolutionary pieces of music of the 20th century.” The record is actually called What’s Going On. Michon’s review begins, “If you are going to comment on imperialism this is the way to do. Anti-academy, sweet, kitch, inclusive, political and with a whopping big 1970’s brown and orange comfy sofa to watch the videos on.” Her review concludes, “This is how I always wanted exhibitions to be.”

Related people

»  Barby Asante

Born in London, date unknown

»  Cathy Lomax

Born, 1965 in Croydon, United Kingdom

Related exhibitions

Related venues

»  Showroom

London, United Kingdom