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Keeper of Non-Western Art and Anthropology
I’ve been thinking about the shadows cast by objects in the cases. Would it be possible to have access to the insides of the cases so that I can trace these shadows? I’m not quite sure where this is leading, but I suddenly like the idea of capturing the intangible…’
Artist, Sonia Boyce, was commissioned by Iniva to work with Brighton Museum’s collection of non-Western art and ethnography in 1995. Exploring themes of observation, interpretation and her identification with an ‘ancestral’ past, Boyce produced Peep – an installation at the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery and this artist’s book which illustrates Boyce’s thoughts and ideas whilst making the work.
'Even in the late twentieth century, museums have never lost sight of their origins as cabinets of curiosities. Now when we enter the space of the museum, we enter another world where we move from one room to the next, gazing at the exotic objects laid out before us like a sumptous feast set out for our eyes to consume. Like delectable sweetmeats beyond our reach, these artefacts offer up the promise of unfamiliar, illicit pleaseures which are visible but unattainable, to be seen but not touched. In the Cultures gallery, Sonia Boyce has circumscribed our gaze and forced us to acknowledge the very act of looking in a museum as an illicit act...' Gilane Tawadros