John Akomfrah’s new film ‘Vertigo Sea’ at Venice Biennale
07/05/2015 John Akomfrah, Vertigo Sea, 2015. 3-channel, HD video installation, 38 minutes
The 56th Venice Biennale begins this weekend opening on 9 May. Amongst 143 international artists on display will be the new film by acclaimed British filmmaker John Akomfrah.
John Akomfrah’s new work is a three screen film installation ‘Vertigo Sea’, a meditation on whaling, the environment and man’s relationship to the sea. ‘Vertigo Sea’ will be installed in the Biennale’s Central Pavilion.
An artist, writer and filmmaker born in Accra (Ghana) in 1957, John Akomfrah lives and works in London. For the last 30 years Akomfrah has engaged with questions of memory and identity, creating moving-image works which give a voice to the legacy of the African Diaspora in Europe. He is renowned for innovating with the boundaries of the documentary form and the format of the film essay. Akomfrah has participated in the Venice Film Festival three times: in 1988 with Speak Like a Child, in 2001 with Digitopia, a film on existential drifts caused by the rise of the digital age, and in 2010 with The Nine Muses about the history of immigration in Britain after World War II, filtered through Homer’s Odyssey.
The artist’s last major work, ‘The Unfinished Conversation’, a multi-layered installation investigating cultural, ethnic and personal identity, was shown in Tate Britain for six months in 2013, and acquired for the National Collection.
He recently co-curated the artist curated exhibition ‘History is Now’ at London’s Hayward Gallery. Akomfrah is a BAFTA nominee, a BFI Grierson Award winner and has been awarded an OBE for his services to film.
For more information visit the Venice Biennale website.