A new work by Akomfrah The Airport is a three-screen film installation which recalls the work of two filmmakers: Stanley Kubrick and Theo Angelopolous. The work is epic, beautiful and transcendental and a visit to see it at the marvellous Lisson Gallery, London, is a revelation. His work is given the space it deserves and requires, the screens and seating areas are appropriate to the scale of the work. The poetic and politically charged work grapples with race, politics, identity and postcolonial attitudes. Filmed in the Southern Greek landscape, within an abandoned airfield, the narrative, complete with a wandering and meandering astronaut and a prowling and stalking gorilla, contemplates the significance of empire.
The film has a flexible and expandable sense of time, like much of Akomfrah’s work, where characters from different eras encounter one another. In so doing the artist creates ghosts which linger in our consciousness, both physically through the architectural ruins and metaphorically through the traces and histories of the previous generations.