A Poetic Approach to Post-colonial History
In collaboration with Whitechapel Gallery, London, the Kunstmuseum Bern is presenting the first retrospective on Zarina Bhimji, British photographer, filmmaker, and installation artist. Voicing criticism of her times with a gentle lyricism, Bhimji promotes confrontation with the difficult social issues of migration, globalization, and post-colonial history in her work.
In 1963 the artist was born to Indian parents in Uganda, where she grew up until the family was forced into exile in 1974. She studied art in London and has exhibited in diverse international group shows. In 2007 she was nominated for the Turner Prize.
Based on historical research, Bhimji’s films and photographs are poetic investigations of the postcolonial past. On account of her own experiences in life, the artist weaves fictive events into the post-colonial history related to the countries of her origins and, using this material, constructs fragmentary narratives. In this way she discloses a personal view of the post-colonial history of three continents (Europe, Africa, Asia) and palpably illustrates the complexity of cultural, ethnic, and political identities.
Besides photographs and installations (among others, loans from the Victoria & Albert Museum in London), Bhimjis films Out Of Blue (2002) and – produced especially for the exhibition – her new film Yellow Patch (2011) will be presented in Switzerland for the very first time.