Relic Traveller: Phase 3

2019-21

© Photo by GG Archard


Relic Traveller: Phase 3, is the continuation of a multi-disciplinary project by Larry Achiampong, which manifests in performance, audio, moving image and prose. Centred within themes related to Sanko-time, Relic Traveller takes place across various landscapes and locations; the project builds upon a postcolonial perspective informed by technology, agency and the body, and narratives of migration.

This speculative project considers the social and political climate of current times; the rise of nationalism within the global West and tensions surrounding moments such as the United Kingdom’s leave ‘Brexit’ vote in 2016. Meanwhile, the African Union’s passport programme (also established in 2016) points toward the potential opening of boarders across a unified African continent in the future. With these instances, the Relic Traveller series imagines a future in which the global West devolves the to point of decline, whilst the African Union ascends into prosperity, harmony, independence and, responsibility in shaping the future of the planet.

At this unspecified point in time amongst an ambitious set of new initiatives, the African Union create the ‘Relic Travellers’ Alliance’, a programme that equips Relic Travellers with space-travelling-technology for the sole purpose of venturing outside of the African Union to retrieve vocal information left by those whom had been historically oppressed as a result of political systems such as colonisation, capitalism and globalisation. These uncovered testimonies are collected and used as a basis for the African Union to responsibly govern the future informed by a bottom-up perspective.

Reliquary 2 acts as a response to COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown. The film is a work formed of animated sequences and unseen drone footage from Achiampong’s personal archives, complemented by an original score composed and performed by the artist.

Art on the Underground presented an ambitious public commission by British Ghanaian artist Larry Achiampong, which re-imagined London Underground’s iconic roundel, for Westminster Underground station from November 2019 – February 2020.

Made as part of the exhibition: 'Rock Against Racism: Militant Entertainment 1976-82' (and commissioned by De La Warr Pavilion), When Aunty Speaks, You Listen was made during Summer 2020, against the backdrop of worldwide Black Lives Matter uprisings. To draw attention to the struggle for rights and racial justice that has spanned hundreds of years, often without recognition, Achiampong has centred his audio work around an historic recording of Ghanaian author and academic Ama Ata Aidoo.

Sanko-time is a site-specific piece has been composed to accompany the 20-minute round-trip on the Emirates Air Line cable car from Greenwich Peninsula to the Royal Docks, reflecting on the historical context of the River Thames during the journey across the water. As the work is hosted online, it can also be enjoyed from anywhere in the world.

Relic Traveller: Phase 3 is a project made possible with help from John Hansard Gallery, De La Warr Pavilion, The Line and Art on The Underground Transport For London.


© Larry Achiampong