Liverpool artwork of the day – Tuesday November 20 2007. ‘Shadows and Disturbances’ 2007 by Zarina Bhimji at Tate Liverpool, Turner Prize 2007 until January 14 2008
Over the last three years Zarina Bhimji has travelled extensively throughout India, Zanzibar and East Africa. Immersing herself in their discrete yet intersecting histories she took numerous photographs, studied legal documents, conducted interviews and read the biographies of policy makers in the shaping of British power within those countries. Although her work always begins with such extensive research, the knowledge she accumulates is ultimately abandoned in her films and photographs, as facts and figures give way to instinct and intuition.
Bhimji’s photographs capture human traces in landscape and architecture. Walls are a recurring motif, attracting her through their absorption of history as they become a record of those who built, lived within and ultimately abandoned them. Despite a conspicuous absence of the body, the photographs emit a human presence. Reference to it is sometimes explicit – a row of guns awaiting use in Illegal Sleep, yet sometimes only implied – the hanging, disconnected and electrical wires in my Burnt my heart.