The Sphynx Contemplating Napoleon
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Gilane Tawadros curator of our current exhibibition Ingrid Pollard: Carbon Slowly Turning
Built upon the politics of difference, The Sphinx Contemplating Napoleon examines artistic practice through an international lens. This vibrant collection of essays and writings – produced in different cultural contexts and collected over two decades – introduces the reader to the thought, method of analysis and everyday experiences that have emerged from an increasingly globalized world, presenting a potentially radical frame through which to understand contemporary art.
Gilane Tawadros experiments with methodology to draw cultural difference to the surface: from traditional criticism to fictional narratives, this critical variety mirrors her embrace of different perspectives and hints to the myriad ways in which contemporary art is created and presented. Using these techniques she explores the work of leading artists such as Adel Abdessemed, Richard Avedon, Sonia Boyce and Frank Bowling, offering expert guidance on the rich cultural and historical contexts of global and contemporary art through intimate engagement with lived experience.
Playing with forms of writing, from critical analyses to fictional narratives, The Sphinx Contemplating Napoleon functions as a practice-based meditation on how to write about contemporary art.