John Akomfrah at the Kurhaus Kleve, Germany: the world in the back

As he took a few years before his extensive film project, "Purple" on pollution and climate change, in-depth John Akomfrah in image archives such as that of t

John Akomfrah at the Kurhaus Kleve, Germany: the world in the back

As he took a few years before his extensive film project, "Purple" on pollution and climate change, in-depth John Akomfrah in image archives such as that of the BBC. He also discovered Material on the Battersea Power Station, a former power plant in the heart of London, in its immediate neighbourhood, 1957, Ghana-born artist was raised. Disillusioned, he had to find, "that I was poisoned by the exhaust gases of the Power Station". To stay lens was made here, heavy and so the work of 2017 was not only one of the most complex projects it had ever undertaken, but "perhaps one of the most autobiographical".

Where are today, such polluters, who must continue to earn it, and with what consequences for the environment? So would probably ask for a current discourse of art. However, an investigative Research interested in the London auteur does not. Instead, the co-founder of the influence shifted to London, "Black Audio Film Collective rich" from the eighties, his work to the other Extreme: He gives a sumptuous pictures of the panorama of the Anthropocene, and is told in a kaleidoscope of modern life and a threatened Environment.

To melancholic for a sharp look

"Purple" is meditative, you will not be confrontational, sounds more as a lament than as a rebellion, away from the days of political urgency. This is what distinguishes the work of early works Akomfrahs as his debut album "Handsworth Songs" from 1986, in the spell of the documentation draw on the riots in Birmingham and London, has lost in the face of what must be able to withstand people today in racism, in actuality, nothing. Akomfrah has done as a writer over the post-colonialism as an important voice.

The elaborate spatial Installation "Purple", part of a film trilogy and, most recently, in different places, such as the Ghana pavilion at the Venice Biennale, is now the only work in Akomfrahs first exhibition in a German Museum, set up by him in the Kurhaus in Kleve: "Purple". The title is borrowed from the Prince Hit "Purple Rain" and the decorated black box complete in purple dipped. On six big screens coarse-grained documentary combines Akomfrah Material of Smoking chimneys, working on the Assembly line or under days with recordings of birth, adolescence to advanced age. In addition, he contributes a landscape of images, which he recorded in various regions of the earth, from Greenland to the Polynesian Marquesas Islands.

the images in black and white and in color, different time embody levels of optimism and disillusionment, Found footage of hurricanes, plagues of Locusts and oil spills to be running in addition to scenes of ballet and Jazz; a warlike century is touched, potentates of this world, the Hand, the view sweeps over rußgeschwärzte houses and lands at the end of the cemetery. Repeated Akomfrah placed romantic longing figures in back view in front of waters and landscapes, what in the hour-long work at some point to the cliché of his self-coagulates.

All the impressions engage in a Symphony of beauty and grandeur to meaning-Laden sounds into each other, not coincidentally, a critic wondered whether, with many of the finds, the industrialization could not be celebrated on this Pictorial as well. Although the many screens would have to overwhelm the attention, really, tired of it not, rather, you are immersed in a well-composed flow of images. But for all its formal brilliance Purple "is not" the views of an exploited environment really sharp. This Elegy is a melancholic.

John Akomfrah: Purple. In the Museum Kurhaus, Kleve; up to 6. September. There Is No Catalog.

Updated Date: 29 July 2020, 08:20

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