Being Human: Through the Ancestral Lens
6 – 21 November
Various locations across the Living Area and East End Gallery
Please note, tickets for the Being Human late event are now sold out. You can still visit the exhibition in normal opening hours.
Short video-works by internationally acclaimed artists create collisions between the past, present and future as part of a temporary intervention into the free-entry permanent collection at the Sainsbury Centre.
Sited among the collection of objects spanning 5,000 years of creativity, five video artworks by international artists will bring new perspectives to the Sainsbury Centre’s collection – generating fresh connections and unsettling conventional accounts of the museum’s meaning and value.
Provenance (2021), a multiscreen video installation by acclaimed author Ayobámi Adébáyo and Mutiny follows the journey of a sacred ibeji figure from Benin City to a British museum. Architect-artist Andreas Angelidakis’ film Walking Building (2006) explores how museums might adapt to fit the digital age. Canada-based Inuk artist Asinnajaq’s award-winning film Three Thousand (2017) presents an imaginary universe of the Inuit people drawn from archive footage and high-tech animation.
Sethembile Msezane’s Falling (2017) considers the theft of several carved soapstone birds from the ancient fortress of Great Zimbabwe under colonial rule and the continuing struggle for their return today. Also by Msezane, Nibizwa Ngabangcwele (2021) explores the power of tobacco snuff as a spiritual connector in numerous African cultures.
Provenance is part of Future and Form, generously supported by Arts Council England.
This event is part of the Being Human festival, the UK’s only national festival of the humanities, taking place 11–20 November 2021. Led by the School of Advanced Study, University of London, in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the British Academy.