Carroll / Fletcher presents a group exhibition that brings together the distinct but interconnected practices of John Akomfrah, Phoebe Boswell and Rashaad Newsome.
Through media ranging from film, animation, performance, collage and sculpture, the three artists seek to explore the cultural frameworks and politics associated with identity. The exhibition considers the effects that our historical and cultural origins have both on a personal level and on the fabric of contemporary society.
Rashaad Newsome‘s practice cuts across performance, video, collage and sculpture in order to explore the symbolism associated with contemporary African-American culture. His work addresses issues of race, class, gender and sexuality through cultural amalgams, combining elements of pop-based imagery and the visual language of hip hop culture, such as diamond bling and urban beats, with “high cultural” forms including heraldry, ornament and the aesthetics of the baroque.
For the last 30 years John Akomfrah has been committed to giving a voice and a presence to the legacy of international Diaspora in Europe; to fill in the voids in history by mining historical archives to create film essays and speculative fictional stories about past lives. His poetic, polyphonic films create sensual audiovisual experiences while developing a filmic language to understand the trauma and sense of alienation of displaced subjects; one that moves away from the rhetoric of resentment to propose new agents and perspectives.
Born in Kenya and brought up as an expatriate in the Middle East, Phoebe Boswell combines traditional draughtsmanship and digital technology to create charged drawings, animations and installations that tell layered, global stories of human endeavour anchored in a personal exploration of the notion of ‘home’. For this exhibition, Boswell will present The Matter of Memory*, the multimedia installation for which she won the Sky Academy Arts Scholarship in 2012, which reflects on aspects of Kenya’s history – her history – by drawing upon and reinterpreting her parents’ memories.
* A term sourced from the book Dust by Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor