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Larry Achiampong

Listen to The Line - Sankofa, 2020

Audio work

Larry Achiampong’s work for Listen to The Line, the first a new series of audio commissions, will build on the artist’s concept of sanko-time, a theory at the core of his recent practice.  Sanko-time, based on the Ashanti word ‘sanfoka’ – roughly translates as to go back for what has been left behind. ‘Sankofa’ also alludes to using the past to prepare for the future.

The Emirates Air Line cable car offers a ten-minute journey over the River Thames, connecting Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks. Achiampong will explore the context and historical significance of the area, including the role the waterways exerted in the historical slave trade. The artist notes that a critique of these sites (in relation to our current political context) is a valuable opportunity to form a moment of healing and renewal.

Incorporating archival material and field recordings from both London and Accra, as well as workshops with primary schools in Greenwich and the Royal Docks, Sankofa will create a dynamic experience that takes the listener across multiple environments through a rich soundscape that connects people to places that are thousands of miles away. Achiampong’s research will consider notions of death and rebirth, the importance of the human voice as a form of protection and communal bonding, the importance of water and waterways connecting London to the rest of the world and his belief that histories are the lines that connect us.

Courtesy the artist and Copperfield, London

 

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Biography

Larry Achiampong (b.1984, London) studied Mixed Media Fine Art at the University of Westminster (2002-05) and Sculpture at the Slade School of Fine Art (2006-08). 

 Larry Achiampong’s solo and collaborative projects employ imagery, aural and visual archives, live performance and sound to explore ideas surrounding class, cross-cultural and post-digital identity. His work examines his communal and personal heritage – in particular, the intersection between pop culture and the postcolonial position, seeking to reveal the entrenched socio-political contradictions in contemporary society. Achiampong has worked on commissions, residenciesand exhibitions with major institutions both in the UK and internationally including Tate, the Venice and Singapore Biennales,Somerset House and Art on the Underground (his commission for Westminster Station, Pan African Flags for the Relic Travellers’ Alliancewas installed until February 2020). Achiampong currently serves on the Board of Trustees at Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts) and is a 2019 recipient of the Paul Hamlyn Award for Artists. 

Image Credit: Larry Achiampong, ‘Sunday’s Best’, 2016. 4K Video (still), 14mins. Commissioned by Logan Centre Exhibitions Chicago © Larry Achiampong. Courtesy the artist and Copperfield, London