Artist Rachel Garfield uses video, painting and photography to explore the gap between an individual's own perception of their identity and the perceptions of others. All her works layer multiple experiences and viewpoints. The presence of the artist herself as both subject and interviewer is also a recurring feature. Her video work in particular examines the history of racism and xenophobia in Europe and explores the experience of being part of ethnic-minority communities in Britain, through the narratives that people tell about their lives. Throughout her work stereotypes are placed alongside the subject of those stereotypes to present us with a complex, multifaceted view of the individuals concerned and their relationship to their communities and histories. The viewer is never offered pointers as to how they 'ought' to respond.
With an Introduction by Lesley Farrell, an essay on the intellectual origins of Nazi Germany's anti-Jewish revolution by Matthew Shaul, and 'The Undecidability of Difference', an essay by Amelia Jones on the work of Rachel Garfield.
Rachel Garfield is a London-based painter, writer and video artist whose work explores identity, racism and belonging. Garfield's work has been shown in London at the Whitechapel Gallery, the Barbican Art Gallery, the Ben Uri Gallery and at Syracuse University in New York. She studied for her MA in Fine Art at Central St Martins. Her PhD is interdisciplinary, spanning art practice and critical writing and is concerned with issues of ideology, visibility and invisibility in representations of contemporary British Jewry.
Matthew Shaul is Head of Programming and Operations at University of Hertfordshire Galleries.
Professor Amelia Jones is Head of Art History and Visual Studies at the University of Manchester.
Lesley Farrell is Director of Focal Point Gallery in Southend.
Published September 2005; 36pp; paperback