Magazine article The Spectator

CULTURE NOTES - Casting Shadows

Magazine article The Spectator

CULTURE NOTES - Casting Shadows

Article excerpt

Zarina Bhimji is a photographer of ghosts . Her images of deserted buildings ('Bapa Closed His Heart, It Was Over ', above) and desolate landscapes are empty, but haunted by humanity; her work is, as she puts it , evidence not of 'actual facts but the echo they create'.

The Whitechapel Gallery is currently home to a retrospective of the work of this Turner Prize-nominated artist (until 9 March), and includes a selection of her photographs, installations and short films. Bhimji and her family were forced to leave Uganda when Idi Amin expelled Asians from the country in 1972 and much of her work bears the imprint of this background. Her images of East Africa and India explore the vast issues created by displacement and forced exile .

Gaping rooms, flaking paint, shadows cast across patterned shutters; all these images tell a story - but a secret story - one that we can sense, yet have no explanation for. …

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