Materials:C-type photographic print, Aluminium, Dibond
Physical Object Description:Untitled, 2016 is photograph inspired by Akomfrah’s dual-screen film Auto da Fé, 2016 which translates to ‘Act of Faith’.
Dimensions:101.6 x 152.4 cm
Credit:Presented by the Contemporary Art Society, 2019/20
Ownership history:Purchased from the Lisson Gallery by the Contemporary Art Society, 2020; presented to the Mead Gallery, University of Warwick Art Collection, 2020
Relationship:Lisson Gallery, London Mead Gallery / Warwick Arts Centre, University of Warwick Art Collection
Untitled (2016) is a photograph inspired by Akomfrah’s dual screen film Auto da Fé (2016) which translates to ‘Act of Faith’. The film follows a series of eight historical migrations over the last 400 years. It begins with the 1654 migration of Sephardic Jews fleeing Catholic Brazil to Barbados. The film spans from the 17th century to the present day depicting the religious persecution and migration of populations from Hombori, Mali, and Mosul, Iraq. Like the film, the photograph employs costumes and sets to create the aesthetic of a period drama to present historical and contemporary cases of displacement and the continuation of religion as a cause of global migration. The location is kept deliberately anonymous as the story of displacement is not confined to a particular region.
This image has a theatrical quality - the eye is drawn to the still, centred pose of the young woman who stands on a solid concrete beam, surrounded by devastation. Her formal costume evokes the 1950s, but the devastation is timeless and universal. Not seeing her expression, creates a sense of ambiguity.
In 2015, the Mead Gallery showed Akomfrah’s film, The Unfinished Conversation (2012), in a solo exhibition. The acquisition of this photograph resonates with this earlier film and continues the exploration of migration in the twentieth century and Coventry’s history as a home to migrants.
All rights reserved. Any further use will need to be cleared with the rights holder. Permission granted to reproduce for personal and educational use only. Commercial copying, hiring, lending is prohibited.
Read our copyright policy for more information.