David Blandy



PRAKSIS and People in Limbo are pleased to annunce that Finding Fanon Gaiden: Delete will premier at Cinemateket on 9 December 2016. 

A new film by artists David Blandy and Larry Achaimpong, Finding Fanon Gaiden: Delete is a complex tapestry of true stories of identity and migration, cultural history and social change. The film will be followed by a panel discussion delving into the film’s production and complex politics addressed by the film, particulalry in terms of being paperless in Norway today. The panel features Tor B. Jørgensen (former Bishop, Chair of Mennesker i Limbo) and Nicholas John Jones (Founding Director, PRAKSIS) in conversation with Blandy and Achiampong alongside others.

Produced during a PRAKSIS's New Technology and the Post-Human, Blandy & Achiampong worked with Mennesker i Limbo (People in Limbo), on this film, telling the important real life stories of three the group’s members. The film subverts the popular computer game Grand Theft Auto V – controversial for its popularisation of violence, sexism and racism – stripping its in game environment of weapons to create a world that offers real insight into the extreme, but often hidden situations that bring people to find themselves in limbo; without papers or rights, far from home.

The Finding Fanon project, a collaboration between Larry Achiampong and David Blandy, is inspired by the lost plays of Frantz Fanon, (1925-1961) a radical humanist who dealt with the psychopathology of colonization and the social and cultural consequences of decolonisation. This has evolved from research into a performance, a series of video works and exhibitions. The first film was screened as part of BFI's London Film Festival in 2015 and the Finding Fanon trilogy will be screened at Tate Modern, London on 6 December 2016.

Throughout the series, the artists negotiate Fanon’s ideas, examining the politics of race, racism and decolonisation, and how these societal issues affect our relationship amidst an age of new technology, popular culture and globalisation. Investigating cultural adaption and how globalisation masks divisions and encourages a homogenisation of behaviour, the Finding Fanon series becomes a search for authenticity in a radically interconnected yet ambiguous world.

The two artists, while collaborating, acknowledge the history that has shaped their present interactions, as this conflict is played out through scripts that meld found texts and personal testimony. Navigating hidden, traumatic stories that connect their past, present and future, the two artists question the promise of globalisation and new technologies, recognizing its impact on their own heritages.

Over the past three years, Achiampong and Blandy have exhibited, performed and showcased artworks and projects internationally in spaces such as Tate Modern (London), Fabrica (Brighton), Iniva (London), Modern Art Oxford, Spike Island (Bristol), ICI/Savvy Contemporary (Berlin) and Stony Island Arts Bank (Chicago).

Through their work, Blandy and Achiampong examine ideas of communal and personal heritage, using performance to investigate cultural hierarchies and the “fiction of the self”. Blandy and Achiampong have exhibited extensively in the UK and internationally, both individually and as a duo, at venues including Tate, London; Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai; and MOMA PS1, New York.

People in Limbo is a group of long-term undocumented people who fight for recognition and to tell how difficult the situation of undocumented people is. They aim to be visible in order to improve the situation of undocumented people in Norway.

KUNSTKRITIKK's Stian Gabrielsen interviews PRAKSIS Director, Nicholas John Jones

KUNSTKRITIKK's Stian Gabrielsen interviews PRAKSIS Director, Nicholas John Jones

During the first years of their careers, before reaching the rather more well-greased echelons of the global art machine, artists can often be found on budget flights headed for more or less comfortable lodgings made available by more or less affluent organisations in more or less peripheral locations – so-called residences. Even though the resources on offer vary in scope and scale, such residencies are nevertheless important stepping stones and aids to professional growth for many artists. Oslo has hardly been teeming with such offers, certainly not any very high-profile or notable ones, and few have been open to a wider circle of not-yet-established artists. That era officially ended on Monday 21 March when Oslo-based PRAKSIS began its first batch of residencies.

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