Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Tate Modern and "Shibboleth"

I spent many happy hours at Tate Modern this December.On an visit with Rajani I saw the latest installation by Doris Salcedo, a Colombian artist.Was rather surprised by the sight... a big long fracture on the floor of the 'turbine hall' and I was not the only one amazed.
It was an interesting sight .The artist wanted to take a swipe at Tate for turning a blind eye to the colonial art...exclusion of non European art from the commonality of the purpose of art.Tate Modern is exclusively European.
The word"Shibboleth" originates from Hebrew Bible-it seems, in the Book of Judges Chapter 12.
This word was used to distinguish one tribe from another - the defeated from the victorious for they could not pronounce the word correctly , they had no"sh"in their dialect.All those who could not pronounce the word were hunted down and exterminated.
Looks to me this installation has trivialised a weighty truth .
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