Press Release

Purple is an immersive six-channel video installation addressing man’s relationship to nature and to the planet, created by the British artist and filmmaker John Akomfrah. At a time when greenhouse gas emissions from human activities are at historically high levels and glaciers are melting, Purple poses the question of human responsibility.



International exhibitions

International Archives 1st half of 2018

John Akomfrah, Purple

Bildmuseet, Umea (Sweden)

13.04 - 16.09.2018




John Akomfrah, Purple, Kunsthalle Mainz

© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2018. All Rights Reserved

Exhibition 13 April - 16 September 2018. Bildmuseet at Umeå University, Östra Strandgatan 30B SE-903 33 Umeå (Sweden).








John Akomfrah, Purple. Installation view Bildmuseet, 2018. Photo: Mikael Lundgren.

John Akomfrah, Purple. Installation view Bildmuseet, 2018. Photo: Mikael Lundgren.

In this epic film work, John Akomfrah combines archival material with newly staged footage and a hypnotic sound score. The new film sequences were recorded in regions with particularly climate sensitive ecosystems, such as Greenland, Alaska and the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia and at various sites around the UK. Combined with images and film clips from the 1940s to the present day, they form a multi-layered montage of politics, history, and fiction.

Parallel themes run through the hour-long work. In six monumental projections these fragments are woven into a whole, and open for a multitude of reflections on the delicate relationship between humans and the planet. Purple is a sequel to Vertigo Sea, which was shown at Bildmuseet in 2015. The museum was the first to exhibit the work following its premiere at the Venice Biennale that same year.

Purple is a Smoking Dogs Films production, commissioned by the Barbican, London, Bildmuseet, Umeå; TBA21-Academy, Vienna; The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, and Museu Coleção Berardo, Lisbon.