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The wrong story

Article relating to an exhibition, 1989
Published by: The New Statesman
Year published: 1989

image of The wrong story

3 page article/original still in magazine/monochrome type with colour image reproductions/article from Artefax section - New Statesman, 15 December 1989, p.40-42

Title: The wrong story
subtitle: The Hayward Gallery, home of contemporary art in Britain, is staging the first major exhibition of Afro-Asian art in Britain - The Other Story. The show has been patronised, even denigrated. Writer Homi Bhabha and Sutapa Biswas, an artist whose work is not included, take on the critics.

Two images are included in the article with the credits: “Souza’s Black Nude, 1961 and left, Squaring the Circle, 1984-89” The article attempts to discuss some of issues raised by other reviewers/reviews of the exhibition, The Other Story. An extract from the section from Homi Bhabha: “The general complacency among the critics comes from from a value given to the immediate visibility of the image which ives art a spurious autonomy. “What, after all can the work of artists from such a differing range of backgrounds - Guyana, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, China, India - have in common?“ asks Andrew Graham-Dixon (Independent, 5 December 1989). Only the fact, of course, that British imperialism touched them all, imposed a conformity of administrative, educational and cultural practices on the most diverse regions.”

Sutapa Biswas addresses the thematic within the curation of the exhibition, countering the selection of artists (especially the lack of female artists) and the preoccupation with a modernist narrative. An extract from the text: “The Other Story is the first time a major exhibition of Afro-Asian artists’ work has been shown at the Hayward. So far, so good. But in common with the many “overview” exhibitions it has many problems. The Other Story misleadingly implies a collective authority of narrative. It might have been better titled “Rasheed Araeen’s Other Story“. Given that the bulk of the most exciting work produced in the past ten years has been the work of younger generation Afro-Asian artists, Araeen jeopardises this by his “hang-ups” about modernism, neglecting what would have been the show’s major strengths, particularly the contribution of black women.”

Related people

»  Homi Bhabha

Born, 1949 in Mumbai, India

»  Sutapa Biswas

Born, 1962 in Bolpur, India

Related exhibitions

Related venues

»  Cornerhouse

Manchester, United Kingdom

»  Hayward Gallery

London, United Kingdom

»  Manchester City Art Gallery

Manchester, United Kingdom

»  Wolverhampton Art Gallery

Wolverhampton, United Kingdom