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Said Adrus: Recaptured 2014

New Art Exchange, Gregory Boulevard, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, NG7 6BE
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Said Adrus: Recaptured 2014

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8 November 2014 – 11 January 2015
New Art Exchange

FREE event

In Recaptured 2014 Said Adrus looks at the forgotten history of the South Asian contribution to World War I. In retelling the history of the war, the exhibition highlights the lives of those South Asian soldiers that were lost whilst fighting for Britain. Comprised of wartime artefacts – from a medal belonging to Adrus’s father, to archival footage of wounded soldiers - the exhibition evokes the feeling of a museum. The authority associated with a museum platform legitimises the South Asian contribution to the war, and by commemorating these lost soldiers in this way, Adrus’s exhibition finally offers their memory a place in history.

As the title suggests, Recaptured 2014 revisits earlier moments in Said Adrus’s repertoire. An alumnus of Nottingham Trent University, his work as a student in the 1980s alongside other artists within the city challenged institutional racism in both art and politics. Their collective aims and objectives were revived in New Art Exchange’s very first exhibition, Next We Change Earth, 2008.

Having achieved wide notoriety throughout his career – exhibiting in venues ranging from Tate Britain to Kunsthalle Bern in Switzerland and the Bronx Museum of Arts in New York - New Art Exchange is delighted to welcome Adrus back to Nottingham, six years after Next We Change Earth.

The tone of the exhibition is set by a certificate of service belonging to Adrus’s father, who served in the British Army operating in Kenya in WWII. Requiring differing information (such as caste/religion, etc.) depending on whether the bearer is European, Asian, or African, the certificate indicates the colonial perspective on what constitutes a person’s identity. Other highlights include a photograph of the Muslim Burial Ground in Woking – the sole resting place for Muslim soldiers in Britain during WWI – and an archival film showing the presentation of medals to South Asian soldiers by members of the British Royalty.

It was a welcome challenge to understand how to bring together a project with such a varied range of research and outcomes, centring on such a pertinent subject as the forgotten histories within WWI. However, as the personal homage to Adrus’s father became pivotal, the exhibition has come to also personalise these histories as a tribute to each individual’s story.
***Roshni Belakavadi, Producer at New art Exchange.

Recaptured 2014 not only reflects and builds upon Next We Change Earth, but it also marks the 100-year anniversary since the start of the First World War – the time when these soldiers were buried and forgotten. This fact points to the ambiguity of the show’s title - the exhibition not only ‘recaptures’ Adrus’s 2008 work within the space at New Art Exchange once more, but it also ‘recaptures’ the memory of those soldiers who died 100 years ago.

Recaptured 2014 launches at New Art Exchange on Saturday November 8, from 6pm-8pm in the Mezzanine Gallery.

Exhibition details
What:
Said Adrus, Recaptured 2014
When: 8 November 2014 – 11 January 2015
Where: Mezzanine Gallery, New Art Exchange, 39-41 Gregory Boulevard, Nottingham, NG7 6BE
Admission: FREE

 

 

 

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