John Akomfrah Edition
Introducing a new, limited edition by John Akfomfrah in support of the Frieze x Deutsche Bank Emerging Curators Fellowship for UK-based Black and POC emerging curators.
This artwork, Our Skin Is a Monument I (2020), which first appeared on the cover of the October 2020 issue of frieze magazine, incorporates a promotional still from Carmen Jones (1954), starring Harry Belafonte and Dorothy Dandridge. The still is placed into a Shirley card, a reference device used since the 1940s in colour-film technology to calibrate skin-colour balance. For decades, Shirley cards only used white models to set their parameters, dramatically affecting how Black skin would be rendered on film.
Our Skin builds on John Akomfrah’s work around monuments since the 1980s, drawing on the poet Caroline Randall Williams’ astonishing essay, ‘My Body is a Confederate Monument’ – first published in The New York Times before it was widely circulated on social media. ‘If there are those who want to remember the legacy of the Confederacy,’ she writes, ‘if they want monuments, well, then, my body is a monument. My skin is a monument.’
This numbered print is part of an authentic, limited edition of an original artwork by John Akomfrah and comes with a certificate of authentication.
Our Skin Is A Monument I
From the series ‘Our Skin Is A Monument’, 2020
Giclée print on Mohawk Superfine White Eggshell paper
420 x 594mm finished size
354 x 464 mm image size
Edition of 250, numbered
Help support diversity in the arts by purchasing this edition. 60% of sales proceeds benefit the Frieze x Deutsche Bank Emerging Curators Fellowship.
Please note this edition is unframed.
UK price includes VAT. Please see our FAQs here for further information and shipping outside of the UK.
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John Akomfrah is an artist and filmmaker. In 1982, he co-founded the Black Audio Film Collective. In 2020, he had exhibitions at Museum Kurhaus Kleve, Germany, and Seattle Art Museum, USA. He lives in London, UK.
Watch an interview with the artist here on frieze.com, where John Akomfrah discusses the origins of the Black Audio Film collective, his recent project exploring the life and times of cultural theorist Stuart Hall and the 'pariah space' of the film essay on television and in the art gallery.
The Frieze x Deutsche Bank Emerging Curators Fellowship is a new programme that helps UK-based emerging Black or POC curators to develop their practice within a renowned public institution through paid placements. The initiative is a collaborative project, bringing together artists and organisations across the non-profit and private sector to increase accessibility, representation and social mobility within the arts.
The inaugural 2020 fellowship will be realised in partnership with Chisenhale Gallery, who have a well-established track record of providing high-quality training and professional development to emerging curators. The fellow will be based at the gallery and gain significant experience across a range of different areas pertaining to Chisenhale Gallery’s ongoing exhibitions and education programme. Upon completing the fellowship, the fellow will have access to additional mentoring sessions with members of the senior Frieze team.
The second fellowship will be realised in partnership with BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead.
The fellowship will be supported by proceeds from the sale of a protective face mask designed by celebrated British artist Idris Khan. A fund has been set to support the annual fellowship and cover the fellows' salary, travel, research and professional development.
Chisenhale Gallery is a non-profit organisation that is committed to supporting artists and enabling them to realise their most exciting and inspired visions. BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art's mission is to create greater understanding of the world through outstanding, experimental and inspiring contemporary art which has power, relevance and meaning for individuals and communities. 100% of sales proceeds from the face masks and 60% of sales proceeds from the editions (excluding shipping and taxes) and any donations made up to a total of £45,000 will be donated to Chisenhale Gallery Limited, a registered charity (number 1026175). The following £42,500 raised thereafter will be donated to BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, a registered charity (number 1076251). Any proceeds and donations collected thereafter will go towards the Frieze x Deutsche Bank Emerging Curators Fellowship. If you have any queries about the fellowship, the face mask or donations, please click here to view the fellowship FAQs page.