John Akomfrah: Vertigo Sea
- When 19 Aug - 5 Nov 2016
Cnr Oxford St & Greens Rd Paddington NSW 2021
TUES TO SAT, 10AM–5PM
+61 2 8936 0888
A poetic meditation on humanity's relationship with the ocean, Vertigo Sea explores what Ralph Waldo Emerson calls "the sublime seas". Fusing archival material, readings from classical sources and newly shot footage, the work focuses on the disorder and cruelty of the whaling industry and juxtaposes it with scenes of many generations of migrants making dangerous crossings of the ocean in search of a better life.
First presented at the 2015 Venice Biennale, this sweeping portrayal of the sea’s integral role in human history has particular currency in the context of today’s environmental and refugee crises, in which oceans are falling victim to the toxic impact of pollution and climate change, yet also offering a perilous, last-resort option to displaced populations fleeing war-torn homelands.
John Akomfrah OBE is an award-winning British artist and filmmaker. Based in London, in 1998 he co-founded Smoking Dog Films with Lina Gopaul and David Lawson, a leading independent film and television production company developing insightful yet challenging works such as Vertigo Sea.
Vertigo Sea is presented in partnership with the Centre of Contemporary Art (CoCA), Christchurch, New Zealand.
Images: John Akomfrah Vertigo Sea 2015. Installation view, 'Troubled Waters', UNSW Galleries, 2016. Photo: Silversalt Photography