Part fiction, part natural history documentary, part film essay, Vertigo Sea fuses archival footage with newly shot visuals. Projected as a three-screen video the exhibition invites the audience to reflect on humankind’s relationship with the sea in both contemporary and historical contexts. First seen in the 2015 Venice Biennale, the work is poetic and sensual and explores collective history & memory, and the sea’s role in the history of slavery, migration and conflict. For this piece, award winning artist John Akomfrah draws upon two books, Herman Melville’s Moby Dick (1851) and Heathcote Williams’ epic poem Whale Nation (1988), a heartbreaking and inspiring work that charts the history, intelligence and majesty of the mammal earth. The film includes new footage of African migrants crossing the ocean in a journey fraught with danger in hopes of a ‘better life’.

Fri 24 Mar-Mon 28 Aug, The Whitworth, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M15 6ER. Tel: 0161 275 7450, times vary, FREE,

Fri 24 Mar - Mon 28 Aug
Fran Blythe
Published on:
Sun 16 Jul 2017