Kunstmuseum Bern announces Zarina Bhimji. A poetic approach to post-colonial history

Kunstmuseum Bern n collaboration with Whitechapel Gallery, London, presents, Zarina Bhimji. A poetic approach to post-colonial history, British photographer, filmmaker, and installation artist, on view 1 June–2 September 2012. 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.

Zarina Bhimji, Yellow Patch (Gelber Fleck), 2011. Film projection, 35mm film, color, sound, 29:43 minutes. Courtesy the artist. © 2012, ProLitteris, Zürich.

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 gives voice to the complexity of cultural, ethnic, and political associations.

Besides photographs and installation works (among others, loans from the Victoria & Albert Museum in London), Bhimji’s two films Out Of Blue (2002) and—produced especially for the exhibition—Yellow Patch (2011) will be presented in Switzerland for the very first time.

The exhibition and accompanying publication concentrate on a very fecund approach in international contemporary art and, with its thematic focus, give us the opportunity to comprehend historical transformations in a global context. The show portrays an artist who gently criticizes the times she lives in while promoting social confrontation with the difficult issues of migration, globalization, and post-colonial history in a poetic way. With her lyrical re-interpretation of history, Zarina Bhimji throws light on Europe’s involvement in global events and points out the complicated histories of people who live among us.

Curated by Kathleen Bühler.

A previous iteration of the exhibition was shown at Whitechapel Gallery, London (19 January–9 March 2012).

Kunstmuseum Bern
Hodlerstrasse 8-12
3000 Bern 7
T +41 31 328 09 44
F +41 31 328 09 55
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