Onyeka Igwe a so-called archive
Interrogating the decomposing repositories of Empire with a forensic lens.
Blending footage shot over a year in two separate colonial archive buildings—one in Lagos, Nigeria, and the other in Bristol, United Kingdom—this double portrait considers the ‘sonic shadows’ that colonial images continue to generate, despite the disintegration of their memory and their materials. Igwe’s film imagines what might have been ‘lost’ from these archives, mixing genres of the radio play, the corporate video tour, and detective noir with a haunting and critical approach to the horror of discovery.
19 minutes, 40 seconds, B&W/colour, Stereo, 16:9
Onyeka Igwe is an artist and researcher working between cinema and installation. She is born and based in London, UK. Through her work, Onyeka is animated by the question — how do we live together? — with particular interest in the ways the sensorial, spatiality, and non-canonical ways of knowing can provide answers. She uses embodiment, voice, archives, narration and text to create structural ‘figure-of-eights’, a format that exposes a multiplicity of narratives. The work comprises untying strands and threads, anchored by a rhythmic editing style, as well as close attention to the dissonance, reflection and amplification that occurs between image and sound. She was awarded 2020 Arts Foundation Futures Award for Experimental Short Film and was the recipient of the Berwick New Cinema Award in 2019.
Co-commission by Mercer Union, Toronto; Plug-In ICA, Winnipeg; and KW Institute of Contemporary Art, Berlin, with support from Julia Stoschek Collection and Outset Germany_Switzerland. Additional support from Adam Pugh and Tess Denman-Cleaver for the Projections programme. Supported using public funding by Arts Council England.