Ben Luke talks to John Akomfrah about his influences—together with writers, musicians, film-makers and, after all, different artists—and the cultural experiences which have formed his life and work.
Akomfrah was born in Accra, Ghana, in 1957 however has been primarily based in London since he was a baby. From his early years with the Black Audio Movie Collective to his latest works as a solo artist, he has explored main points—together with racial injustice, colonialist legacies, diasporic identities, migration and local weather change—by way of a particular method to reminiscence and historical past.
First proven on tv and within the cinema, his movies are more and more made for museums and galleries, within the type of formidable, typically epic, multi-screen video installations. He is likely one of the nice film-makers of the previous few many years.
He discusses discovering Jackson Pollock by way of Ornette Coleman’s Free Jazz album, his early experiences of the Tate Gallery and ongoing love of J.M.W. Turner’s work, his ardour for John Milton’s Paradise Misplaced and Virginia Woolf’s The Waves, and his enduring engagement with music from post-punk to John Luther Adams. He additionally offers us perception into his studio life and solutions our common questions, together with the last word one: what’s artwork for?
• John Akomfrah: Purple, Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C., 28 October–summer time 2023
• The Unfinished Dialog, Tate Britain, London, till the tip of 2022.
• A brand new work will probably be proven on the Sharjah Biennial, 7 February-11 June 2023, and The Field, Plymouth, UK, from December 2023.
The following sequence of A brush with… will run from 23 November-14 December, with episodes launched on Wednesdays. You possibly can obtain and subscribe to the podcast right here. This podcast is sponsored by Bloomberg Connects.