SCHIRN KUNSTHALLE, Frankfurt, Germany 09 Nov 2023 - 28 Jan 2024
John Akomfrah,Vertigo Sea (Detail), 2015,Three channel HD colour video installation, 7.1 sound,48 minutes 30 seconds.
Courtesy of SCHIRN KUNSTHALLE
John Akomfrah (b. 1957) creates thoughtful video works of haunting audiovisual intensity. He tells of radical changes and crises of the present and past on characteristic large-format screens.
The SCHIRN is presenting for the first time a comprehensive overview of the artist’s impressive work, which to date is still relatively unknown in Germany, through a selection of his important video installations from recent years. The cofounder of the influential London-based Black Audio Film Collective (est. 1982) interweaves his own film sequences with archive material to create multilayered, at times associative collages, frequently in the form of simultaneous narrative structures. Akomfrah’s oeuvre critically examines colonial pasts, global migration, and the climate crisis. The starting point of the SCHIRN’s extensive presentation is a new immersive multiscreen installation, which traces a thematic arc exploring the first settler contacts on the shores of North America’s eastern coasts, the conquistadors in Central and South America, and the arrival of Europeans in the Caribbean, Southeast Asia, and China.