Zarina Bhimji

Zarina Bhimji is an artist who caught my eye today initially because she is the only artist with photographic work to be shortlisted for this year's Turner Prize. For those that don't know, this is an award given in the UK ostensibly to artists who have been nominated by public vote but in reality is much more of a closed competition available only to the already well established (two of the artists nominated this year have received previous nominations) and usually generates much controversy with accusations often taking the form of "What a load of rubbish, how is that worth £25,000..." (£25, 000 is the prize money).

Anyway, it wasn't Zarina Bhimji's photographs themselves that prompted this. It was their titles. I'm all for art with weird, random, obscure and esoteric titling but the work itself still has to be good, otherwise I'm left feeling like the artist is a better thinker than a doer; a situation I'm not quite comfortable with. Looking through her website I found a minority of photographs I actually liked and the titles often left me with a furrowed brow and a distinct suspicion of pretence. Alarm bells start ringing when an otherwise unremarkable photograph carries a large price tag and a 'poetic' title.

Anyway, here are two of her images - which in themselves I don't think are too bad - lifted from the BBC and Tate Britain websites. Her own website prohibits the downloading of images, which I would understand except bootlegging is one of my favourite activities.

They are titled "Illegal Sleep" and "Your Sadness Is Drunk".

I guess it's better than titling your work "Untitled"...

Check out her website at

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