VERTIGO SEA by John Akomfrah at Bildmuseet, Umeå, Sweden


John Akomfrah, Vertigo Sea (screen shot), 2015
Courtesy of the artist and Smoking Dogs Films
© John Akomfrah


John Akomfrah‘s new three-screen film installation Vertigo Sea forms a meditation on whaling, the environment and our relationship with the sea. The production was jointly supported by Bildmuseet and BAC-Baltic Art Center and premiered at the 2015 Venice Biennale, the 56th International Art Exhibition All the World’s Futures. As a first touring venue, the film will have its Swedish premiere at Bildmuseet on October 25. 

For thirty years, spanning cinema, television and gallery-based installations, John Akomfrah’s work has engaged with questions of memory and identity, creating works which give a voice to the legacy of the African diaspora in Europe. His poetic and polyphonic films create sensual audiovisual experiences that stretch the boundaries of the documentary genre and the format of the film essay. The presentation at Bildmuseet marks the first time this important artist will be shown in Sweden.

John Akomfrah (b. 1957, Accra, Ghana) lives and works in London. He was one of the founders of the seminal group Black Audio Film Collective. His work has been shown at the Liverpool Biennial, Documenta 11, De Balie in Amsterdam, Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Serpentine Gallery and Whitechapel Art Gallery in London, MoMA in New York and at the Cannes, Toronto and Sundance international film festivals, among others.

Vertigo Sea is a Smoking Dogs Films production supported by Bildmuseet and BAC-Baltic Art Center, the Swedish Arts Council, Sharjah Art Foundation, BBC Natural History Unit, British Film Institute, Arts Council of England and Tyneside Cinema Gallery.


BildmuseetÖstra Strandgatan 30B, Umeå (Sweden)
25 October 2015 – 17 January 2016 

Artist talk: October 24, 1 pm 
Opening: October 25, 2 pm