Nosferasta: Adam Khalil and Bayley Sweitzer with Oba
Gasworks, London, United Kingdom 06 Oct 2021 - 19 Dec 2021
Adam Khalil and Bayley Sweitzer, Nosferasta (still), 2021. Courtesy the artists.
Gasworks presents Nosferasta, the first UK solo exhibition by Brooklyn-based filmmakers Adam Khalil and Bayley Sweitzer. Nosferasta is a Rastafarian vampire film starring and co-written by artist and musician Oba.
Spanning 500 years of colonial destruction, human trafficking and blood sucking, this newly commissioned film reimagines Oba’s origin story. In the late 15th century, Oba is shipped as cargo from West Africa to the Caribbean, where he is seduced by the vampire Christopher Columbus, ensuring his undying allegiance to the colonial project.
Combining film forms and genre tropes, Nosferasta examines the guilt of being complicit in imperial conquest, while acknowledging the extreme difficulty of unlearning centuries of vampiric conditioning. Ultimately, the film tackles an uncomfortable question: How can you decolonise yourself, if it’s in your blood?
Adam Khalil is a filmmaker from the Ojibway tribe in Northern Michigan; Bayley Sweitzer is a filmmaker from southern Vermont. Their works have featured at Tate Modern; Walker Art Center; Whitney Biennial; Toronto Biennial; Sundance Film Festival; and Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival, among others. Khalil is a core contributor to the indigenous collective New Red Order. Oba is a multidisciplinary artist and chef born in Trinidad. His work has featured at Motel Gallery and Rumpelstiltskin, Brooklyn. Oba was lead singer of the avant-noise supergroup Dead Companionship alongside Zack and Adam Khalil.
Nosferasta is commissioned and produced by Gasworks, London and Spike Island, Bristol, as part of the European Cooperation project 4Cs: From Conflict to Conviviality through Creativity and Culture, co-funded by Creative Europe and the Royal College of Art. The film is also supported by Creative Capital and Cinereach.
A public programme including performances and screenings will accompany the exhibition.