Artist Talk: Larry Achiampong & David Blandy + Annie Jael Kwan

20 February – Join me at Arts Catalyst for a talk with artists Larry Achiampong and David Blandy, reflecting on their new work, Genetic Automata.

Commissioned by Arts Catalyst, Genetic Automata forms the first in what will become a series of film-based works exploring exploring race and identity in an age of avatars, video games, and DNA Ancestry testing. Find out more about the exhibition here.

Tickets are £5, booking essential. We recommend booking soon to avoid disappointment as we anticipate high interest and capacity is limited.


Larry Achiampong (b.1984) is a British-Ghanaian artist whose solo and collaborative projects employ imagery, aural and visual archives, live performance and sound to explore ideas surrounding class, cross-cultural and post-digital identity. These investigations examine constructions of ‘the self’ by splicing the audible and visual materials of personal and interpersonal archives, offering multiple perspectives that reveal entrenched socio-political contradictions in contemporary society. Achiampong has exhibited, performed and presented projects within the UK and abroad including Tate Britain/Modern, London; The Institute For Creative Arts, Cape Town; The British Film Institute, London; David Roberts Art Foundation, London; Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen; Bokoor African Popular Music Archives Foundation, Accra; Logan Center Exhibitions, Chicago; Prospect New Orleans, New Orleans; Diaspora Pavilion – 57th Venice Biennale, Venice; and Somerset House, London.  

David Blandy (b. 1976) is a British artist who has established his working practices through a series of investigations into the cultural forces that inform and influence him, ranging from his love of hip hop and soul, to computer games and manga. His works slip between performance and video, reality and construct, using references sampled from the wide, disparate sources that provide his (and our own) individualist sense of self. He has exhibited at institutions nationally and worldwide including Tate Modern, London, UK; Bloomberg Space, London, UK; The Exchange, Newlyn Art Gallery, UK; Kiasma Contemporary Art Museum, Helsinki, Finland; The Baltic, Gateshead; Turner Contemporary, Margate; Spike Island, Bristol; Künstlerhaus Stuttgart, Germany; MoMA PS1, New York, and Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai, China. He is currently working on a New Geographies Commission for Focal Point Gallery in Southend-on-Sea.  In Larry Achiampong and David Blandy’s collaborative practice, they share an interest in popular culture and the post-colonial position. They examine communal and personal heritage, using performance to investigate the self as a fiction, devising alter egos to point at their divided selves. They were recently shortlisted for the Film London Jarman Award for their collaborative work.  

Annie Jael Kwan is an independent curator, researcher and writer based in London. Since 2005 she has worked on numerous projects with major arts and cultural institutions in the UK and internationally. She founded the curatorial initiative, Something Human, in 2012, to focus on her interests in the critical ideas surrounding movement across borders. In 2016, her self-initiated residency in Cambodia generated the collection of digital materials that would form a significant part of the pioneering Southeast Asian Performance Collection (SAPC). The SAPC was launched at the Live Art Development Agency in London as part of the 2017 M.A.P. project that showed in Venice and the UK. Most recently, she was selected for the International Curators Forum’s “Beyond the Frame” programme, and for Outset and Arts Council England’s research trip for emerging curators, which resulted in her curated colloquium, Curating Radical Futures, at Tate Modern. Exploring questions regarding futurity and alternative identities, she initiated and co-leads the Asia-Art-Activism research network that is currently in residence at Raven Row for 12 months, with a desire to interrogate the paradigm of “Asia” while experimenting with the formalities/informalities of working collectively. She holds an MA in History of Art and/or Archaeology from SOAS, teaches at Central St Martins and Sotheby’s Institute of Art, and contributes to Art Asia Pacific.

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