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Indepth Arts News:

"Crown Jewels"
2000-02-05 until 2000-03-12
Neue Gesellschaft fur Bildende Kunst, NGBK
Berlin, , DE Germany

British-indian und british-pakistanian art from London with works by Sutapa Biswas, Chila Kumari Burman, Mohini Chandra, Sunil Gupta, Addela Khan, Shaheen Merali, Sameena Rana und Shez 360. In the metropolis of the former Empire, where cultures and ethnic groups meet, coexist and link, young british-indian artists emerge as protagonists of the art scene. The exhibition Crown Jewels is following this current trend. The eight artists presented in this exhibition combine with their works such as photography, digital montage, laser copies or video the subcultural scene of the younger generation of immigrants with the brandnew tendencies of the global avantgarde.

After the recognition and the international success of the british-indian musicians, filmmakers and writers the innovative potential of visual artists, originating from the former colonies of the crown known as the Jewel of the Crown is more and more acknowledged. Nowadys a young generation of artists is able to deal with the expectations of the public in a controlled way. The are looking for actuality, use various media and use the public need for a modern transcultural identity.

Shaheen Merali and Sunil Gupta focus on racist conflicts as current problem of European societies. Chila Kumari Burman is representing a position in between the elder artists, who arived in Britain as grown ups and the second generation, which was raised there. As Gupta and Merali she organized exhibitions and did with others create a platform for artists from Asia and Africa in Britain. Her colourful and posterlike collages of laser copies refer to Pop Art as well as to indian films ˆ la Bollywood.

In Sutapa Biswas, Sameena Rana and Mohini Chandras works European pictorial traditions merge with cultural clich*s. The calculated use of subjects associate in an irritating way with Indian Fantasies but look for a new aesthetic reflecting the European view of foreign cultures abroad.

Addela Khan is working with photo montage to explore in a similar way the role and image of the Islamic woman in religious as well as secularised societies. shez 360 is working with billboards of commercial adds and shows how adds use the exotic impact of foreign cultures in an exploitative way.

For the first time in European art history India not just a source for inspiration for European art. The artists of the Indian subcontinent themselves are influencing and changing the tendencies of contemporary art.

All artists live and work in London.

The exhibition was curated by Iris Mahnke and Angelika Osterwalder.

After a venue at Kampnagel (K3) in Hamburg last year the work group Exkurse of NGBK is presenting the show in Berlin.

Along with the exhibition a catalog will be published. And additional program with lectures and films will be organized in cooperation with Eiszeit-Cinema and the bookstore Marga Schoeller, the British Bookshop and the House of the Cultures of the World.

The project will be supported by SFB4 Radio MultiKulti, the daily paper “Die Tageszeitung” (taz) as well as the Restaurant Shanti.

We thank the British Council for additional funding.

For more information please contact us by phone at NGBK (++49/30/6153031), or send a fax (6152290) or an email: ngbk@snafu.de

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