Genetic Automata, by Larry Achiampong and David Blandy, forms the first part of an ambitious new body of works by the artists, exploring race and identity in an age of avatars, video games, and DNA Ancestry testing. Initially commissioned by Arts Catalyst, this exhibition will be shown during NEoN Festival as part of a national tour.
Referencing the history of the theory of evolution, and the relationship between Darwin and his taxidermy teacher John Edmonstone, a freed slave, Genetic Automata raises important questions of invisible histories, eugenics, and segregation, through the lens of historical and contemporary contexts. The video installation combines animation, spoken word and text interspersed with microscopic topographies of varied shades of skin, digital renditions of skin from video games, and film footage of taxidermied bird life from Darwin’s bird skin collection at the Natural History Museum.
About the Artists:
Larry Achiampong & David Blandy’s work has been shown both within the UK and abroad including Tate Modern, London; The Baltic, Gateshead; Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefied; Fact, Liverpool; BFI London Film Festival, London; Transmediale Festival, Berlin, Germany & Fort Worth Contemporary Arts, Texas, USA. They have been on residencies at Praksis, Oslo in Norway & Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridgeshire. Recent awards include an Elephant Trust award and support from Arts Council England. They have been shortlisted for the Film London Jarman award 2018. Larry Achiampong is represented by Copperfield Gallery, London & David Blandy is represented by Seventeen Gallery, London.