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Camerawork | Zabat

Press release relating to an exhibition, 1990
Published by: Camerawork
Year published: 1990

image of Camerawork | Zabat

A4 single sheet monochrome printed text/Press Release: March 15th - April 20th - issued by Camerawork

Title: Zabat
Body of text starts with a dictionary reference of Zabat. There is then a description of the exhibition: “In this exhibition Maud Sulter investigates the Muse. The photographs, life size and rich in colour, depict the nine Muses each represented as a black woman. The images work on the many complex levels: as representations of the Muses, as allegorical portraits of black women, as a celebration of black women’s creativity, and as a remaking of photographic traditions.” At the end of the text follows a quote: “As a black person and a woman I don’t read history for facts, I read it for clues.” Alice Walker.
B&W reproduction of a photograph by Maud Sulter - titled Calliope.

Maud Sulter’s Calliope, 1989, C-type print (in the collection of Victoria and Albert Museum),  from her series Zabat. This self-portrait of Sulter as Calliope was part of a series of studio portraits that showed Black women artists and writers as the nine muses of Greek mythology. The series featured sitters such as Lubaina Himid, Alice Walker, and Dorothea Smart.

The work animated issues of status, portraiture, history, and Black women’s creativity, challenging the ways in which Black women had been rendered, or indeed, rendered invisible, by predominantly white male image-makers and others, in history.

Related people

»  Maud Sulter

Born, 1960 in Glasgow, Scotland. Died, 2008

Related exhibitions

Related venues

»  Camerawork

London, United Kingdom

»  Rochdale Art Gallery

Rochdale, United Kingdom