"Akomfrah is one of the most sophisticated interpreters of the theme of the diaspora of African culture in Europe. His reasoning in this area reflects a particular interest in the construction of portrait-narratives, marked by a non-linear, incomplete plot of lines formed by the overlapping of chronologies, contexts and timeless narrative structures. Pictorial, literary and textual elements, archival documents, visual and sound footage generate a historical collage, each with their own linguistic economy. What emerges, though, are absences in the tale, missing or forgotten passages, lateral and marginal episodes, which almost unconsciously resurface from the past like ghosts, contaminating the present.
Peripeteia is a good example of all this. The word means “turning point,” and in line with the conceptual structure of the exhibition in which it was first shown – “Hauntologies” at the Carroll/Fletcher gallery in London in 2013 – it harks back to Derrida’s Spectres of Marx to think about the enigma of the forgetting of an event that resurfaces from the past and contaminates the present, influencing self-perception.
The work narrates the story of a man and a woman, whose inner life is evoked by the artist starting with the discovery of two black and white drawings by Albrecht D