Filming across 4,000km of Europe, this film-maker, artist and poet has created a collection of performances and testimonies from black choirs.
The first institutional solo exhibition from Sierra Leonean, Julianknxx, will turn the Barbican Curve gallery, in Frobisher Crescent, Barbican, into a multi-screen film installation on September 14.
Filmed in Hamburg, Rotterdam, Antwerp, London, Marseille, Barcelona and Lisbon, the project shows the power of choral song.
The installation has been developed across a year of Julianknxx’s work. His collection reflects the choir’s as a form of resistance, specifically a resistance to the eradication of difference.
He said his inspiration in this work comes from philosopher Édouard Glissant, who said: “You can change with the Other while being yourself, you are not one, you are multiple, and you are yourself”.
A single repeated refrain – ‘we are what’s left of us’ – binds the choral voices together, a reminder that music can enable the survival of cultural memory across time and space.
Born in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Julianknxx uses his own history to challenge and reimagine dominant perspectives on African art, history and culture.
Julianknxx said: “This commission has allowed me to imagine The Curve through the collective dimension of the choir, which brings together diverse voices as a powerful conduit for memory and a testament to resistance.
Through Chorus in Rememory of Flight, it is my hope that The Curve will become a place to engage audiences in active listening, continuous learning, and boundless exploration.”
Picture: Julianknxx, Production still of Chorus in Rememory of Flight, 2023 Picture: Studioknxx
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