PCAI partners with Sharjah Biennial 15: Thinking Historically in the Present (SB15) supporting and co-commissioning Sir John Akomfrah’s new work Arcadia. John Akomfrah’s works are characterised by their investigations into memory, post-colonialism, temporality and aesthetics and often explores the experiences of migrant diasporas globally. Akomfrah has received numerous awards and honours, including the British Film Institute’s John Grierson Award for Documentary in 1987. In 2017, he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire. The widely celebrated filmmaker has been chosen to represent Great Britain at the next Venice Biennale, which will open in April 2024.
More about John Akomfrah
John Akomfrah was born in Accra, Ghana, in 1957. A pioneering filmmaker, Akomfrah creates multichannel video installations that critically examine the legacy of colonialism, the Black diaspora, and environmental degradation. Akomfrah weaves together original footage with archival material to create stirring, layered narratives that juxtapose personal and historical memory, past and present, and environmental and human crises.
More about the Sharjah Biennial
Conceived by the late Okwui Enwezor and curated by Hoor Al Qasimi, Director of Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah Biennial 15: Thinking Historically in the Present, running from 7 February to 11 June 2023, reflects on Enwezor’s visionary work, which transformed contemporary art and established an ambitious intellectual project that has influenced the evolution of institutions and biennials around the world. Hoor Al Qasimi interprets and re-envisions the titular proposal by the late thinker to critically center the past within the contemporary moment. Al Qasimi develops the concept of ‘thinking historically in the present’ by adopting a working methodology that privileges the role of intuition and incidence. Acknowledging the effect Enwezor’s documenta 11 had in transforming her curatorial consciousness, she also builds upon her own long-term relationship with the Biennial, as visitor, artist, curator, and eventually, as director of the Foundation, an institution that came into being as a result of the Biennial, a fact Enwezor appreciably recognized.
Find out more about Sharjah Biennial 15
Image credits: John Akomfrah, Smoking Dogs Films
Activity aligned with Goals 4,8,11,17