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Black Pop | Shaheen Merali

Catalogue relating to an individual, 2004
Published by: Saqi Books
Year published: 2004
ISBN: 0 86356 708 8

image of Black Pop | Shaheen Merali

From the web site of Saqi Books, publisher of Blackpop | Shaheen Merali:

“Shaheen Merali’s oeuvre extends from large-scale installations to remapping colonial history through collages and batiks. Acutely aware of how popular culture acts as a carrier of social prejudice and invective, his work is exercised specifically by the racial and racist content of popular culture. Whether it’s his series of life-size paper constructions of black celebrities or his use of flowerpots and toys to represent people of colour, Merali explores and questions the relationship between racist desire and disgust, between consumer goods and art fetishes, between the sweet icing of kitsch and brutal racist violence. Through his work, it becomes clear that the most trivial objects of amusement carry an inordinate wealth of history, knowledge and prejudice. “Blackpop” covers the last decade of his work while referring to earlier work of the 1980s, with an introduction by the artist, Dave Beech, and essays by art historian Jean Fisher, film historian Adrian Rifkin, and film-maker Hito Stereyl.”

Blackpop | Shaheen Merali is an extensively illustrated (with colour plates) publication that chronicles some of the past and then-present (to 2004) art practice of Shaheen Merali, an artist, writer, curator and archivist, who was born in Tanzania, East Africa in 1959 and came to London in 1970 at the age of 11. The publication contains a significant number of important archival photographs of Merali’s work from the early 1990s onwards. Interspersed throughout the publication are several essays and other texts, seeking to comment on different aspects of Merali’s practice. The publication is unpaginated, its main texts being bookended by a number of pages of colour reproductions of the artist’s work.


Introduction, Dave Beech

Dark Matters, Hito Stereyl

Masquerade as Masculinity: notes on Shaheen Merali’s Paradigms Lost, Adrian Rifkin

Tales from the Dark Side: Double Agency, Jean Fisher

Selected cv


Related people

»  Dave Beech

Born, 1965 in Warrington

»  Jean Fisher

Born, 1962 in USA

»  Shaheen Merali

Born, 1959 in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania