John Akomfrah: Hauntologies, London

Artist and filmmaker, John Akomfrah is opening his first exhibition for Caroll/Fletcher this Friday 5 October. Hauntologies reveals the virtuosity and depth of Akomfrah’s practice, as he considers on disappearance, memory and death. Presenting three new video, sound and installation works, plus a re-versioned video essay from 1998, Hauntologies comes to the UK for the first time.

Committed to giving a voice to the legacy of the African diaspora in Europe, Akomfrah fills the void in history by opening up the historical archives to produce film essays and speculative fictional stories about past lives. Already known for his work with the Black Audio Film Collective, which he co-founded in 1982, Akomfrah’s lyrical and layered films develop a new language that investigates the trauma and sense of alienation of displaced subjects.

Alongside the exhibition will be Psyche, a video essay of edited extracts from several historical films. Blending fragments of costume-dramas that have influenced him, Psyche allows Akomfrah to pay homage to these films. The exhibition also studies the genre’s patterns and conventions, presenting them as paradigms of broader systems of representation. The extracts in Psyche are from seven films including, Borderline by Kenneth Macpherson, Winstanley by Kevin Brownlow and Andrew Mollo, The Passion of Joan Arc by Carl Theodor Dreyer, The Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach by Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub, Qué viva México! and Potemkin by Sergei M. Eisenstein and Culloden by Peter Watkins.

Hauntologies by John Akomfrah, October 5 until November 8, Carroll/Fletcher, 56 – 57 Eastcastle St, London W1W 8EQ.

Peripeteia, 2012, John Akomfrah, A Smoking Dogs Films Production, in association with Carroll/Fletcher and the European Cultural Foundation.
The Call of Mist Redux, 2012, John Akomfrah, Images courtesy Carroll / Fletcher.