The vexed entanglements of art and imperial legacies may have become the subject of debate in the past decades, but are we any closer to grasping the issues at stake? Racism, violence, marginalisation and exclusion are still very much present in how empire is represented, thought and talked about. Third Text has always had a commitment to investigating these critical issues.
In this special on line forum we invite in depth discussion of the Tate Britain exhibition Artist and Empire (25 November 2015 – 10 April 2016). The exhibition can be read variously in relation to Tate’s own economic genealogy in the slave trade and its previous links to British Petroleum, as the third in a series of exhibitions concerned with notions of imperialism and the postcolony (The Lure of the East, 2008; Migrations, 2012) and as a barometer of public policy and the arts today. There are of course many other ways of conceptualising and engaging with this show, its fault lines and the issues that it raises or fails to address. We hope to stimulate dialogues and debates from a wide range of thinkers including artists, curators, critics and art historians. The forum is now live.
The series of articles published here reflect particular views on the theme of the exhibition and its all-important positioning of artistic discourse on empire in Britain today. These critical interventions can be read alongside the diverse positions voiced at the Tate ‘Artist and Empire: New Dynamics’ conference (24–26 November 2015) - http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/conference/artist-and-empire-new-dynamics
Please send your contribution – brief or at length – to Richard Dyer, Editor in Chief, Third Text email@example.com
- Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll and Natasha Eaton