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Manchester’s industrial history and modern-day architecture intertwine in a meditative new film by British artist and filmmaker Jenn Nkiru.
Grounded in the history of Black music, Afro-surrealism, experimental film and the Black arts movement, Nkiru has developed her own style of filmmaking, switching between eras and locations in a process she describes as “cosmic archaeology”.
Her distinctive style can be seen in the films REBIRTH IS NECESSARY and BLACK TO TECHNO which explore blackness past, present and future and the history of techno music, and in the music videos she’s directed – including Neneh Cherry’s Kong, Beyonce’s Brown Skin Girl and Kamasi Washington’s Hub-Tones.
In this new work for Virtual Factory, she weaves together new footage and archive material to explore parallels between architecture and the human body – and how they both shapeshift through time and space.
Taking Manchester’s industrial history as a starting point, Nkiru’s short film pays homage to the people and culture that make up a city.
This is the final commission in the Virtual Factory series, which invited artists to create online works inspired by the architecture and site of Factory International’s new space. Since 2019, we’ve developed four works in which the OMA-designed building was used as a starting point to be reimagined by different artists. These have included works by artists LaTurbo Avedon, Tai Shani and videogames designer Robert Yang. The currently untitled film by Jenn Nkiru will be available to watch online as part of MIF23’s digital offer.
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