Artist of the week: Shiraz Bayjoo
by Iniva, 10 February 2012
Artist Shiraz Bayjoo has been busy! He features as artist of the week again thanks to his show ‘Bow Boys Archive‘ as Artist in Residence at The Whitechapel Gallery. Until 26 February 2012.
In his new installation at Whitechapel Gallery, Bayjoo has brought together the formal and thematic elements of his practice to create The Bow Boys Archive; a work generated and researched during his artist’s residency at Bow School of Maths and Computing. Composed of archive images, portraits of the students, news footage and a barricade of abandoned household and office furniture the installation is as much a contemporary reworking of a history painting as it is an archive. The history painting and the archive function in similar ways, to document histories that shape and form the identities that preserve them.
Bayjoo’s Bow Boys Archive explores histories and notions of collective memory and place. Students’ family stories are set against a history of migration and the fight for human rights. It includes film, photography and painting in an emotionally and politically charged installation.
For the past few years, Shiraz Bayjoo’s work has been exploring collective identities and the symbols, flags and emblems that groups use to represent themselves. This ongoing exploration has seen Bayjoo compiling motifs, myths and narratives that have cultural, political, social and religious resonances, to create visually rich displays that speak as much of the history of painting as the cultural and political histories that they reference.
Shiraz Bayjoo and Iniva
In 2009 Bayjoo transformed Rivington Place’s Education Space into a temporary artist-run factory for the Workforce learning project, making it the setting for a new workforce in response to exhibitions by NS Harsha and Chen Chieh-jen, and in 2011 he ran Social Archive One, a film project aiming to explore the contrasting economics of Rivington Place’s locale with the people who live and work in the area through films made by Bayjoo and members of the public. The project will continue in summer 2012, capturing views of the residents of Shoreditch in the run up to the London Olympics, and the following year after the Olympics are over. Watch the videos from Social Archive One here.