London Today I

Digital Print and Internet Exhibition

The digital image and  interactive website-exhibition Virtual Exiles explores the experiences of people who have left their country of origin and are now at “home” in another. It is about individuals and communities who are considered (or consider themselves) to be “exiled”, “foreigners”. Roshini Kempadoo examines what triggers people to make the journey from one place to another. And, how do they remember their country of origin? What is taken away to recall the country that was once called their home?
The exhibition consists of four separate portfolios. Frontlines/Backyards concentrates on the politics, cultural and social discrimination that may lead to alienation and emigration from country to another. Going for Gold investigates the experience of the expatriate or adventurer who has travelled for financial motives or the excitement of being and journeying somewhere else. From the Edge shares visual and written stories of individuals who have sought refuge from experiences that were threatening or violent. The Colour Museum explores the notion of those communities who may feel exiled in their own country, whose culture is ‘packaged’ and ‘preserved’ for the benefit of others to study and observe.
Conceived as an ever-changing work-in-progress Virtual Exiles begins with the narratives of people whose origins are in Guyana. In this respect it is also an inquiry into the artist’s own position and status as “exiled”, “expatriate”. Kempadoo (whose country of origin and upbringing was Guyana, but who was born in England) juxtaposes her own materials, as well as materials drawn from private albums, official archives and museum collections.
“My work is reflective of issues and attitudes that constantly position us as black communities, as black individuals. Colonial history was as its simplest about cultural, religious and above all, economic gain. At the very core of my work therefore is a visual mapping and exploration of such histories, places and environments. As an image producer with a background in documentary photography, I rework the photograph to produce what I call photo constructions. I make use of photography’s unique alliance with notions of reality and representations”.
Kempadoo creates “powerfully composed fragmented images” allowing new readings of the past. “The appeal of her work is the ability to manipulate distorted images and concepts and to create new associations that begin to structure new alternatives or suppositions about the past. (...) As we ‘read’ Kempadoo’s images we are constantly re-evaluating the concept of oppression and critiquing society’s repression on women and black communities. This act is empowering for the viewer...”
Deborah Willis, Curator, Center for African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC.

Program Roshini Kempadoo

Moderna galerija
9. October at 20.15: opening of the exhibition (9. – 21. 10. 01)
10. October at 17:00: lecture
11. and 12. October from 9:30 to 17:30 workshop

organised by: Mesto žensk / City of Women
in co-operation with Moderna galerija
with the support of The British Council

Date and time of event: 
Oct 09th 20:15
Place of event: 
Moderna galerija