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'…you are part of this club…'

The image above by Zarina Bhimji is called Bapa Closed His Heart, It Was Over. Reproduced above or on half a page in the excellent catalogue of the current Bhimji show at the Whitechapel Gallery is has a certain impact. However for those of us who attended the study day at the gallery yesterday I think the emotional impact is probably greater. The image appears as a print and lingeringly at the end of Bhimji’s video Out of Blue. The film is projected across a large wall with a soundtrack that at times seems too loud.
Bhimji explains this: ‘A large picture projection is a necessity as the work is about physical sensations. It is not about capturing an existing thing or moment; it is about creating something new.’
Having that sensation is one of the benefits of attending a study visit, but others are less predictable – for me it was fascinating to have a discussion with one of our students who was working in the Diplomatic Service in Zaire at the time Zarina Bhimji and her parents were expelled from Uganda – it certainly gave me an added perspective.
If the visits aim to give a better understanding of an artist’s work, they are also are intended to create a networking opportunity. Yesterday I borrowed a Sony Bloggie – silly name but a very portable video camera – and caught a few observations on study visits from the first five of Saturday’s 21 students to leave the gallery.

So if you are hesitating about coming on a study visit, please don’t.

Posted by author: Genevieve Sioka
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19 thoughts on “'…you are part of this club…'

  • I was there, it was great, what more can I say …….
    >> for me it was fascinating to have a discussion with one of our students who was working in the Diplomatic Service in Zaire at the time Zarina Bhimji and her parents were expelled from Uganda
    Blimey, he/she should have been identified, cuffed and passed around to each of us in turn ;). Which brings me to a thought …. I was enthralled by the two films. Whilst ‘Yellow Patch’ was the more visually beautiful of the two for me (and I could go on at length about both films) it was ‘Out of Blue’ that grabbed me emotionally. I wonder if that is because, for those of us of a certain age, it has a back story that we lived though in terms of news & current affairs of the time?
    Thanks for providing this opportunity & the hard work that went into it. These events are very much appreciated
    Dave B.

  • Shame I couldn’t go!!!
    Will be checking out Bhimji’s work on my own when I get a bit more time. Looking forward to the next visits and hope to attend at least one. Great vid, should do it more often.

  • It was a really good day and so helpful in so many ways as well as great to see the exhibition itself. The only scary bit was Gareth with the video camera (just joking Gareth!) being videoed was totally voluntary in case anyone is worried about that:-)

  • I will have to go some other time as weekends are not available for me to make the trip to London. It looks interesting.

    • Hello Katie,
      By clicking on the photos in the weekender bulletin you will be taken to the articles on the OCA website, but make sure that in your subscription settings you have set to receive the ‘ful fat’ email or you may not see any images.
      Another way is to put study day or study visit in the search engine on the We are OCA site.

  • Great day – think I was the last to leave. Also visited Taylor Wessing Photographic Portait Prize images at the National Portrait Gallery on Sunday – it was the last day.
    Gareth – video was great!
    To those who haven’t been on a study trip and can make it I’d say come – you’ll enjoy the experience, learn a lot and meet many students all doing different courses and pick up ideas.

  • For those who were as confused as I was after buying the exhibition catalogue. The following is a reply from the Whitechapel in respect to the photograph on page 57 (the torn photograph laying on some cut hair) …
    “Thank you for your reply, the work in question has been shown in both orientations and to reflect this Zarina decided to show it one way in the catalogue and the other way in the exhibition. The way that it is in the exhibition (with the torn portrait photograph upside down) is the original way the photograph was shot with as can be seen by the exposed edges of the polaroid photographs.”
    I preferred it as it was in the exhibition, but then I had already been conditioned, as it were.

  • I’ve been on few gallery visits and always found them great to meet and chat with the other students. On my first visit I found a ‘study buddy’ and we are now doing the same course and exchanging emails. I would encourage all OCA students to go on these ‘meets’ if at all possible – everyone gets something out them.

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