Galleries

John Akomfrah wins Artes Mundi 7

British artist John Akomfrah has been chosen from a shortlist of 6 of the world’s most important artists to win the UK’s leading prize for international contemporary art, Artes Mundi 7. Ken Skates AM, Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure, announced John Akomfrah as the winner of the biennial award, with a prize sum of £40,000, at a ceremony held at National Museum Cardiff. John Akomfrah’s work often explores the global diaspora, history, memory, colonialism and its legacy through lens-based media. The range of single and multiscreen films allows us to reconsider the ways in which we think about both personal and collective histories, the grand narratives of our times, across nation states and continents. His work has often given voice to underrepresented communities and their universal stories told through the creation of sublime imagery, and evocative and immersive soundtracks. In Auto Da Fé (2016) Akomfrah specifically uses the aesthetics of a period drama to consider the historical and contemporary causes of migration; in this work he focuses on religious persecution as a major cause …

Maria Balshaw appointed Tate Director

MARIA BALSHAW APPOINTED NEW DIRECTOR OF TATE Tate has announced that Maria Balshaw, currently Director of the Whitworth (University of Manchester) and Manchester City Galleries, and Director of Culture for Manchester City Council, has been appointed the new Director of Tate.  The appointment by the gallery’s Board of Trustees has been approved by the Prime Minister, The Rt Hon Theresa May MP. The appointment of the gallery’s ninth director follows the decision by its current Director, Nicholas Serota, to take up the part-time role of Chairman of Arts Council England on 1 February 2017. Maria Balshaw will take up her new post on 1 June 2017. She is the first woman to be appointed to the role. Maria began her career in academia before working for Arts Council England in Birmingham and then becoming Director of the Whitworth in 2006. She quickly became a key figure in the transformation of Manchester’s cultural sector, curating radical and popular programmes and expanding the city’s art collections. In recent years she spearheaded the Whitworth’s £17m transformation, which won Museum …

Representing the Calais ‘Jungle’

A tour and book launch with photographer and activist Gideon Mendel. Part of his exhibition Dzhangal, an alternative view of the Calais ‘Jungle’. The event will begin with a guided tour led by the artist in conversation with art historians Christine Eyene and Dominique Malaquais. Mendel will reflect on the challenges and sensitivities faced in conducting a collaborative documentary project with residents at the ‘Jungle’ refugee camp in Calais. He will expand on why this led him to collect, assemble and photograph objects between May and October 2016, and how these objects evoke complex stories. After the tour we will be joined by anthropologist Georgie Wemyss and refugee project coordinator Robert Lloyd to discuss urgent and wide-reaching questions of forced migration as well as the role and ethics of image making in representing displaced lives. The audience will be invited to join the discussion in a Q&A session, followed by the launch of Mendel’s new photography book Dzhangal, published by Gost Books to accompany the exhibition. The book includes 80 pages of images along with writing …

Radouan Zeghidour: Jian

French artist Radouan Zeghidour presents his first solo show in England at Yamamoto Keiko Rochaix Gallery with pieces exploring an archaeology of forgetting. Zeghidour’s works are composed of memory, fragment and monument, through sculptures that are at once forbidden discoveries and fragmented rememberings of past places. Zeghidour said: “The title for the exhibition comes from a Chinese legendary bird, the Jian, which has only one wing, and only one eye. To be able to fly, he must find a companion, since it is only with two birds together, that they will have two wings, two eyes, and thus will be able to move. This legendary bird evokes a lot: love, the idea of the couple, the need to bond with others. But also, and this is what I see in relation to the exhibition here, something that […] represents the need for the present to feed on the past in order to be able to fly to the future.” Radouan Zeghidour’s practice encompasses a diverse range of references and media – drawing on his attraction …