Met N. the other day and despite it being an amazing meeting, I felt a bit low over the course of the following days. It was hard to work out what was going on. I really liked her and I really liked her work, which was why we were meeting.

We'd talked about the way that generations are created in contemporary visual arts, how the idea of a generation is needed to create an illusion of progress. Of course, the casualties in this process are the artists themselves, who rather than being fixed as a symbol of their generation, will move on in their artwork and reflect a contemporary vision as much as a 'younger' artist will.

Something about this conversation niggled at me until I realised what it was and I write it here.

I am not part of any generation... or at least I don't feel that I am. I am confident in my work and what it's about, where its coming from and what I'm trying to achieve. Still, I have fantasies about what it would be like to be promoted by a large, well-funded organisation.

Given that my work deals with ideas of foreign-ness and 'the other', I see my work sitting within a tradition where there may not be any room for it.

In uglier moments I begrudge artists, really exciting artists like N., what they have - a clearly defined outsider position that may attract tenure or funding. I guess we are talking envy.

Envy over 'race' or ethnicity - now there's a dangerous thing. I have heard plenty of friends and family talking about positive discrimination, affirmative action, as disgusting, unfair, etc. I actually believe in positive discrimination as some small way to redress the obvious imbalances. But not, I guess, when it comes to me and my opportunities, or should I say, my imagined opportunities? Because I have no idea how different things would be if my skin were a different colour or my accent otherwise.

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