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Indepth Arts News:

"Solo Exhibition by Zarina Bhimji"
2004-01-28 until 2004-03-06
Institute of International Visual Arts
London, , UK

Following the recent success of Zarina Bhimji's film 'Out of Blue' at Documenta 11 (2002) and Tate Britain (2003), as well as her participation in 'Fault Lines' as part of the Venice Biennale 2003, inIVA is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Zarina Bhimji in TheSpace@inIVA. The three transparencies mounted on light boxes that make up the show, are the result of careful research carried out over the course of three trips, since 1998, to Uganda, the country where Bhimji was born. Visits that also resulted in Bhimji's first film 'Out of Blue', commissioned and co-produced by Documenta 11.

Focusing on interiors or architectural structures, Bhimji's triptych of photographs convey an incredible sense of intimate stillness and beauty, despite their monumental scale. Although the presence of humans is apparent - in shoes hanging abandoned on a wall, in disused fans balancing on the floor, in wires hanging from a ripped out light socket - hinting at some elusive narrative, it is the artist's ability to capture a moment through her nuances of colour, texture and her suggestions of space that is overwhelming.

In one work, broken fans take on a forlorn sculptural quality in the emptiness of a vast, dilapidating room; in another, the burning heat of the mid-day sun is tangible beyond the open wooden doors, through which the blinding sunlight floods. Textures too are important, from the coarseness of a scuffed and grease-stained wall to the shiny smoothness of a much-worn floor, to the matt finish of the light boxes themselves which lends a softer, quieter tone to the works.

The exhibition conveys a psyche of decay, loss, stillness and unspoken histories, but the translation of the artist's tender, almost lyrical, visual language and the works' elusive titles - Grenade; Howling Like Dogs, I Swallowed Solid Air; Memories Were Trapped Inside the Asphalt - are left to the viewer.

Supported by the Forum for African Arts (with support from the Ford Foundation), Artsadmin, British Council, Andrew Love, Late Jimmy Dean, Mahmood Mamdani, Caroline Collier, De la Warr, Sarat Maharaj and Photoworks.

The works from this exhibition are also featured in the publication Fault Lines. Published by inIVA in collaboration with the Forum for African Arts and the Prince Claus Fund on the occasion of the Fault Lines - Contemporary African Art and Shifting Landscapes exhibition at the 50th Venice Biennale. Available for 20 email: booksales@iniva.org

Zarina Bhimji
Memories Were Trapped Inside the Asphalt, 1998-2003.
Transparency in light box.
2003 All Rights Reserved, DACS. Courtesy of the artist.

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