John Akomfrah: Visions from the Anthropocene

John Akomfrah presents his most sweeping and ambitious project in the prestigious exhibition spaces of The Curve at the Barbican Centre. At the centre of the artist’s latest studies, the planetary impact of climate change on nature, biodiversity and the human community. In the darkness, an immersive six-channel video installation transports us to the most remote and spectacular environments of the globe, from the glaciers of Greenland to the Marquesas Islands. Hypnotic sounds underscore an experience at the confines, of urgently relevant themes framed by an emotionally resonant aesthetic. After the success of Vertigo Sea at the 56th Biennale in Venice, Purple represents the second chapter of an ambitious four-part piece. Global warming, the extinction of various animal species, the accumulation of masses of plastic in the middle of the ocean, the frequency of extreme events such as flooding and tsunami are among the aspects touched upon by the videos, which offer never-before-seen images along with rich archival material. Contemporary scenes, myths and stories from the past come together to delineate the portrait of the Anthropocene, the new era characterised by the actions of humanity on the environment. An ofter paradoxical dimension, that Akomfrah depicts with curiosity, embarrassment, rage and admiration, capturing senses and intellect in the net of empathy.
Francesca Grego - © 2017 for Bvlgari Hotel London