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Black Visual Culture - book

Book relating to a publication, 2000
Published by: I.B. Tauris
Year published: 2000
Number of pages: 258
ISBN: 1-86064-382-5

image of Black Visual Culture - book

One of very few published books dedicated to the subject of Black artists’ activity in Britain, Black Visual Culture was written by Gen Doy, and published by I.B. Tauris, 2000. The book, which actually takes a transatlantic approach to its subject(s), was illustrated with some 30 monochrome plates, and was subtitled Modernity and Postmodernity. The book includes references to American artists, most of whom are African-American. From the back cover: “Taking as its starting point the work of Black and Asian artists, including Isaac Julien, Roshini Kempadoo, Dave Lewis, Chris Ofili and Keith Piper, this critical introduction to the theory and practice of Black visual culture explores their work and the dynamics of its relationship with postmodern critical theorists and theories. A wide audience, from students to all those interested in twentieth-century art will welcome this valuable book.

Gen Doy’s book, Black Visual Culture was written and published at the turn of the new millennium. Not surprisingly perhaps, Doy alluded to its supposed significance, the millennium bug, and the ill-fated dome, in the opening lines of her Introduction. “The somewhat arbitrary dating of a world historical shift in history, based on the birth of Jesus Christ, is being seen in Britain as both a cause of (controversial) celebration and commemoration and as an expensive nuisance to computer software. The planned Millenium (sic) Dome to be constructed at Greenwich, London, at a cost of £750 million has proved difficult to sell to a sceptical public.”

The book’s contents were as follows:

List of plates



1. Questioning Frameworks

2. Economics, Histories, Identities

3. Objectified Bodies or Embodied Subjects?

4. Desire, Fetishism and Black Beauties

5. The Postcolonial and Visual Culture

Concluding Remarks

Resources and Organizations

Select Bibliography


Each of the book’s chapters was subdivided into the authour’s arguments, opinions and research. For example, Chapter Three is subdivided as follows:

Bodies of Evidence

Subjects in the Archive

Practising Photographers

Self Representations

Samena Rana

Lyle Ashton Harris

Samina Khan

Black Visual Culture represented an important contribution to published narratives and explorations of Black artists’ work.

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»  Nina Edge

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»  David Hammons

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»  Juginder Lamba

Born, 1948 in Nairobi, Kenya

»  Adrian Piper

Born, 1948