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John Akomfrah / Vertigo Sea

2015-10-25 to 2016-01-17

John Akomfrah's new three-screen film installation Vertigo Sea forms a meditation on man's relationship with the sea: on the role of the sea for migration, in war and conflict, for the history of slavery and colonization. It is a narrative on man and nature, on beauty, violence and on the precariousness of life. Herman Melville's novel Moby Dick and Heathcote Williams' Whale Nation are two literary points of reference.

For thirty years British artist and filmmaker John Akomfrah has engaged with questions of memory and identity, creating works which give voice to the legacy of the African diaspora in Europe. His poetic works stretch the boundaries of the documentary genre and the format of the film essay. The rich imagery in Vertigo Sea is sourced from historical archives, nature photography, news as well as newly staged footage.

Vertigo Sea premiered at the 2015 Venice Biennale, All the World's Futures. As a first touring venue, the work is now presented at Bildmuseet in collaboration with BAC-Baltic Art Center. Vertigo Sea (48 min) will be screened continously during Bildmuseet's opening hours.

John Akomfrah (b. 1957, Accra, Ghana) lives and works in London. He was one of the founders of the seminal group Black Audio Film Collective. His work has been shown at the Liverpool Biennial, Documenta 11, De Balie in Amsterdam, Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Serpentine Gallery and Whitechapel Art Gallery in London, MoMA in New York and at the Cannes, Toronto and Sundance international film festivals, among others.

Vertigo Sea is a Smoking Dogs Films production supported by Bildmuseet and BAC-Baltic Art Center, the Swedish Arts Council, Sharjah Art Foundation, BBC Natural History Unit, British Film Institute, Arts Council of England and Tyneside Cinema Gallery.