Lisson Gallery

John Akomfrah presents 'Four Nocturnes' video installation at Venice Biennale

17 May 2019

John Akomfrah's new three-screen video installation Four Nocturnes forms the third part of a trilogy of films including Vertigo Sea (2015) and Purple (2017) that explore the complex intertwined relationship between humanity’s destruction of the natural world and our destruction of ourselves. Using Africa’s declining elephant populations as its narrative spine, Four Nocturnes will be staged as a set of impressionist meditations on fugitive time(s), on improper light and the unnamed scandal. The film questions mortality, loss, fragmented identity, mythology, and memory through poetic visuals that survey the landscape of African cultural heritage.

Four Nocturnes was commissioned for the inaugural Ghana pavilion at the 58th International Art Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia and is featured alongside works by El Anatsui, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Ibrahim Mahama, Selasi Awusi Sosu and Felicia Abban. Designed by Sir David Adjaye and curated by Nana Oforiatta Ayim, the Ghana Freedom pavilion recognises the country’s history, independence and global presence today, through both the design and the ideas of six artists, spanning three generations.

The work will be on view in the Ghana Pavilion, Artiglierie of the historic Arsenale until 24 November, 2019. To read the more about Ghana Freedom, click here.

John Akomfrah, The Elephant in the Room – Four Nocturnes, 2019
Three-channel HD color video installation, 7.1 sound
Co-commissioned by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture of Ghana, Sharjah Art Foundation and Smoking Dogs Films with support from Lisson Gallery.
Photo: David Levene

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