london

Zarina Bhimji, Yellow Patch, 2011, still from a color film in 35 mm transferred to DVD, 29 minutes
43 seconds.

Zarina Bhimji

Whitechapel Gallery

Zarina Bhimji, Yellow Patch, 2011, still from a color film in 35 mm transferred to DVD, 29 minutes
43 seconds.

The title of Zarina Bhimji’s latest film, Yellow Patch, 2011, gives away no secrets, and having watched it, viewers are none the wiser. We know it was shot in India; that Bhimji has been researching it for years; that it is about “the history of trade and migration between India and Africa.” The catalogue tells us so. And yet such explanations don’t dispel our transfixed bafflement as we imbibe its nearly thirty minutes’ worth of footage. We see the old Port Trust offices in Mumbai, with their piles of fraying paperwork and aimlessly whirring fans; gorgeously decaying mansions in Gujarat, with their pastel-green peeling walls and sadly tinkling chandeliers; the beige desert landscape of the Rann of Kutch (at the border between India and Pakistan); and close-ups of a vast ship under construction. Suddenly, the camera settles on a rotting, cream-hued statue of the aging Queen

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