Sir John Akomfrah will represent the United Kingdom in the 2024 Venice Biennale, according to a statement from the British Council.
The British-born artist, who was born in Ghana, came to Britain when he was four years old. He has previously stated that he has a “moral duty” to produce works that are concerned with migration and reject the “rhetoric of contagion” that focuses on migrants who enter Europe.
The Black Audio Film Collective (BAFC), founded in 1982 by 65-year-old Akomfrah, examined issues of racial injustice, global warming, diasporic identity, and colonial legacies. The artist was recently knighted for his contributions to the BAFC as part of the King’s New Year UK Honours List for 2023.
“I see this invitation as recognition of and a platform for all those I have collaborated with over the decades, and who continue to make my work possible. I’m grateful to be given a moment to explore the complex history and significance of this institution and the nation it represents, as well as its architectural home in Venice – with all the stories it has told and will continue to,” said the artist in a statement.
Amongst his award-winning installations, Akomfrah shed light on the hardships experienced by migrants in the UK in Mnemosyne (2010), as well as portraying humanity’s complex relationship with the natural world in Four Nocturnes (2019), which went on view at the 2019 Venice Biennale.
“His creativity consistently evokes profound thought and wonder because of its caliber and contextual richness. It is an exciting time for the British Council to have such a renowned British-Ghanaian artist in Venice, according to Skinder Hundal, the organization’s global director of art.
From April 20 to November 24, 2024, the 60th Venice Biennale will take place. For further details, kindly visit the organizer’s website.