Tate Britain Level 2
1 March – 27 April 2003
Art Now is a programme of exhibitions that aims to promote discussion and awareness of new art in Britain. For the latest exhibition in the series, British-based artist Zarina Bhimji will present the film, Out of Blue, in which she depicts the evocative landscape and architecture of Uganda as a means of addressing the recent past of that country, but also to explore and communicate universal feelings of grief and loss. Bhimji is primarily known for her photographs and Out of Blue is her first departure into the medium of film. Commissioned for Documenta 11 (2002), this poetic work will receive its UK premiere at Tate Britain.
The film takes the viewer to various places in Uganda, sites that attempt to convey the resonance of elimination, extermination and erasure through the visual language of texture and light. The history which serves as a background to Out of Blue is personal to Bhimji and to the many Asian and African residents who were expelled from Uganda by General Idi Amin on 9 August 1972. Yet it is also a part of the history of this country since many of these residents came to Britain in the early 1970s to start a new life.
Out of Blue can be seen within the tradition of British landscape painting, as it captures the mood and historical significance of a place through metaphoric and aesthetic representations of the countryside. The intense and atmospheric soundtrack accompanying the images is composed from the natural sounds of the birds, fire, and echoes from the buildings filmed. The soundtrack succeeds in hinting at the narrative but does not attempt to make it literal.
Zarina Bhimji has been working as an artist since the late 1980s. She was born in 1963 and studied at Goldsmiths College, University of London from 1983-86 and then at the Slade School of Art, London from 1987-89. Bhimji has exhibited extensively in Britain and abroad. Recent solo shows include those at the Talwar Gallery, New York (2001) and Cleaning the Garden, Harewood House, Leeds (1998). She has also shown at numerous group exhibitions including Documenta 11, Kassel, Germany (2002), East International, Norwich (2001), No Place (like home), Walker Arts Centre, Minneapolis (1997), and the second Johannesburg Biennale (1997). Bhimji is the recipient of a DAAD (fellowship and residency in Berlin, Germany for 2002. She lives and works in London.
The exhibition is curated by Katharine Stout, Curator, Tate Britain. The Art Now programme is supported by Patrons of New Art.