Heart of Darkness
Featuring essays by Edward Said, Hou Hanru, David Elliot, Youssef Ishaghpour and Remo Guidieri and expertly edited by Marianne Brouwer, the exhibition catalog Heart of Darkness and the topics it explores in great depth, namely exile, identity, globalization, the museum and the Other continues to hold relevance now more than ever, over 13 years since its publication. Included in the exhibition that took place in Amsterdam’s Kroller Muller Museum in 1995 were the Chinese artists living and working ‘in exile’ at the time, Cai Guo-qiang, Chen Zhen, Gu Wenda, Huang Yongping, alongside international artists like Mona Hatoum, Gary Hill and others. Reading the text today, now that many of the ‘exiles’ have returned ‘home’ to China and receive museum shows regularly, the observations about exile, identity, globalization and the Other are given an added dimension that makes them even more poignant and insightful that ever. About the exhibition the curator explains: Heart of Darkness was not intended to be incorporated within a Western system of representation that would reveal it as Other. It was designed to take over the museum and make visible what the current debate about global art and cultural identities carefully conceals a priori.