This Work isn’t For Us

27 May, 2020
– 27 May, 2020

This Work isn’t For Us is an ongoing study, initiated by Jemma Desai. Partly a critical appraisal of historic ‘diversity’ initiatives, partly an alternative policy document, the study is also an embodied ethnography, assembling testimonies from arts workers navigating institutionally initiated gestures at ‘inclusion’.
This series of encounters bring together some of the artists and practices that continue to shape the work.
The first session is with Zarina Muhammed of The White Pube whose text “The problem with Diaspora Art” instigated a dialogue between Jemma and Zarina both IRL and through writing. Here they place some of their public and private texts in dialogue to explore the resonance and divergences in their practices, and consider the (im)possibility of writing as praxis.

Zarina and Jemma when there used to be art dates and brunches. Photograph by Gabrielle de la puente.

ZARINA MUHAMMAD (b.1994, London) is an art critic @ the white pube ( // @thewhitepube) where she writes about exhibitions, how art makes her feel, and how institutions operate. cancer sun/aries moon/sagittarius ascendant. ‘intellectual charlatan’, ‘sociopathic pseudo-critic’, leading proponent of ‘The Philosophy of the Warm Tummy’ & cowboy in the art world.

JEMMA DESAI is a born and bred Londoner who is reconsidering her work biography after having spent the last year looking straight into the void of institutional life. She is currently a researcher and writer, sometimes talks about her feelings in public, and used to have a film programming practice that she hopes to re-imagine in a better future.



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