Web Shop Highlight: John Akomfrah
John Akomfrah, The Cave, Limited Edition Artwork based on artist’s rug design for Sanctuary, FOR-SITE Foundation, 2017
John Akomfrah’s rug design for Sanctuary, titled The Cave, is a kaleidoscopic pattern based on prehistoric paintings from Argentina’s Cueva de las Manos. “Inside these interlocking caves are some of our first signatures of an idea,” Akomfrah explains. “They are the ghost traces, the carbon footprints of us reaching for and attaining something very powerful, something very long lasting and very human. They are some of the first manifestations of a now near-universal human sense: the idea of an enclosure—marked by a sign of our presence—as a space of benediction, of sanctuary. What the caves tell us, too, is . . . our yearning for sanctuary, both as symbolic evocation as well as real knowledge of an actual place, [is] one of the oldest human yearnings. It’s as old as our sense of home, as enduring as our grasp of time, as defining as our sense of mortality.”
John Akomfrah is a respected artist and filmmaker, whose works are characterized by their investigations into memory, post-colonialism, temporality and aesthetics and often explores the experiences of migrant diasporas globally. Akomfrah was a founding member of the influential Black Audio Film Collective, which started in London in 1982 alongside the artists David Lawson and Lina Gopaul, with whom he still collaborates today.
Recent solo exhibitions include: Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA (2020); Secession, Vienna, Austria (2020); ICA Boston, MA (2019); New Museum, New York, NY (2018); Bildmuseet, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden (2015, 2018); SFMOMA, San Francisco, CA (2018). In 2019 he participated in the first Ghana Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale. He was recipient of the 2017 Artes Mundi Prize, an award which supports contemporary visual artists who engage with the human condition, social reality and lived experience.
Sanctuary was on view at Fort Mason Chapel, San Francisco, from October 7, 2017 through March 11, 2018.
FOR-SITE Foundation is pleased to announce a curated selection of limited edition artworks commissioned from FOR-SITE artists over the years. These works were commissioned to commemorate the artists’ contributions to exhibitions International Orange (2012), Home Land Security (2016), and Sanctuary (2017-18). We are also thrilled to include a newly-commissioned edition by photographer Alexia Webster which is a part of her Street Studios Project series.
Visit FOR-SITE’s online shop to view these works and other items and keep an eye on our Field Notes blog for special features on select works. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with sales inquiries or questions.