Close Up

25 September 2012: Handsworth Songs


Handsworth Songs
John Akomfrah
1986 | 59 min | Colour & B/W | 16mm

Handsworth Conversations
Luke Seomore, Joseph Bull
2005 | 12 min | Colour & B/W | Digital
Followed by Q&A with the directors

"A work never stops. Is never finished. It is important to breathe new life into the archive" – Vanley Burke

In 1986, the Black Audio Film Collective responded to civil unrest and race tensions that had reached boiling point in Birmingham and London in the previous year. Handsworth Songs was their attempt to apprehend the narrative of discontent yet also a resistance against condensing the story by presenting multi-vocal voiceovers, a bricolage of sounds and images that refused to stay put. Enriched by their diversity, they resonate and fissure against each other – the discussions incomplete and questions remained unanswered. In 2005, Luke Seomore and Joseph Bull made Handsworth Conversations, a series of interviews with inhabitants of Handsworth where they converse in dialogue not only with their subjects but also with Handsworth Songs itself. In response to last summer’s nationwide riots, Close-Up propose to, once again, revisit the issues the Black Audio Film Collective raised to explore its pertinence today.

This programme will be followed by Akomfrah first exhibition at the Carroll/Fletcher gallery. The exhibition will premiere his new film Peripeteia, as well as Call of the Mist and a sound installation created from soundtracks to Tarkovsky films.

5 October - 8 November 2012: John Akomfrah: Hauntologies

Hauntologies is artist and filmmaker John Akomfrah's compelling meditation on disappearance, memory and death. In his first exhibition for Carroll/Fletcher, the virtuosity and depth of Akomfrah's practice is revealed in three new video, sound and installation works – never before presented in the UK – as well as a new presentation of a video essay from 1998.

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