John Akomfrah and the Black Audio Film Collective
Fri 27 September // 19:30 / Cinema
An evening of films from John Akomfrah and the Black Audio Film Collective:
The Last Angel of History (1995, 45 min)
The Last Angel of History is one of the most influential video-essays of the 1990s, exploring a mythology of the future that creates connections between black (un)popular culture, outer space, and the limits of the human condition. This cinematic essay posits science fiction (with tropes such as alien abduction, estrangement, and genetic engineering) as a metaphor for the Pan-African experience of forced displacement, cultural alienation, and otherness.
with Memory Room 451 (1997, 22 min)
In its silhouettes, shadow, depth of field and chromatic stylisation, Memory Room 451 is the most extreme example of the neo-Expressionist aesthetic the Black Audio Film Collective pursued throughout the 1990s. Originally entitled Hair, Memory Room 451 is a bitter fable of a world in which dreams become the media platform of the future century and time travel is shiftwork in the graveyards of tomorrow.
* * *
This screening is part of a broader programme celebrating the work of filmmaker and artist John Akomfrah, in cooperation with the BALTIC Centre for Contermporary Art. John Akomfrah first came to prominence in the early 1980s through his work with the Black Audio Film Collective, and has since become known as one of the most accomplished moving image artists in the UK. Perhaps best known for his thoughtful and complex use of archival materials in his films, as well as his nuanced reflections on the culture of the black diaspora, Akomfrah is a filmmaker who skillfully weaves past and present, memory and material throughout his work. As a companion to Akomfrah’s multi-screen works currently on exhibit at the BALTIC (6 July–27 October), along with an all-day workshop on ‘Akomfrah and the Archive’ at Newcastle University’s Culture Lab (23 October), five of Akomfrah’s single-screen films will be shown at the Star and Shadow:
Please come join us for this rare opportunity to see these films on a big screen!
We thank the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art for their generous support of this programme.