NEWS: John Akomfrah @ BALTIC | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: John Akomfrah Precarity, 2017 Three channel HD colour video installation, 7.1 sound Dimensions variable 46 minutes 3 seconds © Smoking Dogs Films; Courtesy Lisson Gallery

Since the early 1980s, John Akomfrah’s moving image works have offered some of the most rigorous and expansive reflections on the culture of the black diaspora, both in the UK and around the world.

Akomfrah’s work initially came to prominence in the early 1980s as part of the Black Audio Film Collective, a group of seven artists founded in 1982 in response to the previous year’s Brixton riots. In recent years, his multichannel video works have evolved into ambitious, multi-screen installations shown in galleries and museums around the world.

This exhibition, titled Ballasts Of Memory, runs at BALTIC in Gateshead from Saturday 6th July-Sunday 27th October, and presents a selection of existing works alongside a related film programme. Ballasts Of Memory includes the European premiere of Precarity, which tells the story of Charles ‘Buddy’ Bolden, the African American cornetist and key figure in the development of jazz music.

On the opening afternoon at 1pm the artist himself takes part in what’s guaranteed to be an insightful In Conversation event with BALTIC curator Alessandro Vincentelli, at which he’ll discuss his exhibition, the ideas and research behind his recent work Precarity, as well as his practice and career.

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