When they hear the word “purple,” few people think of a strange pact rather than a colour. But in this case purple refers to the pact between a sea snail and the human race. The substance that animal secretes when it feels threatened is the colour we have chosen to symbolize power. What power? Ours: the simple power of destroying what surrounds us, of putting ourselves on a higher level than all other life forms, of thinking that the world exists to serve us. On the Internet we read that purple dye was actually discovered by another animal, a dog belonging to Herakles, the hero from Greek mythology. The dog walked around with a purple mouth until Herakles discovered that his dyed snout was due to his playful munching on the murex snails that littered the beaches along the coast of the Levant.
International Archives 1st half of 2018
Exhibition April 13 -
Paseo del Prado, 8
28014 Madrid (Spain).
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–7pm, Saturday 10am–9pm.
© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2018. All Rights Reserved
John Akomfrah, Purple (still), 2017. Six screen film installation. Thyssen-
Purple, an immersive installation consisting of six screens, is an important visual reflection on the human world’s tremendous destructive power over the vast world of life. Akomfrah shows us the breach of what should have been an iron-
John Akomfrah is a British writer, filmmaker, artist, philosopher and founder of the Black Audio Film Collective, a group comprising seven artists and film directors that developed a visual language addressing the links between the colonial past and the present of cultural production. Purple at Museo Nacional Thyssen-
Purple was commissioned by the Barbican, London and co-
John Akomfrah’s work found inspiration in various expeditions organised by TBA21–Academy. Founded by Francesca von Habsburg in 2011, and drawing on her experience as a producer of cross-