I really recommend going and seeing these shows and seeing them alongside each other, partly because they are just down the road from each other but also because of some overlapping themes and interesting contrast in approaches to filming and theatrics. The Sleepwalkers starts every half hour (starting on the hour). For Akomfrah’s show I would recommend setting aside quite a bit of time if you want to see the works in full as there are three films one of which is just under an hour and the others are not far off either (and the seating, as usual, is very uncomfortable).
Rana Hamadeh, The Sleepwalkers at The Showroom
27 January – 19 March 2016
“The Sleepwalkers is a film-play re-dramatising the story of Raya and Sakina, the infamous Egyptian sister serial killers, who in 1921 became the first women to be executed by a legal court in the modern history of Egypt.
… The Sleepwalkers is the latest chapter of Alien Encounters, Hamadeh’s ongoing project which aims at further complicating the notion of ‘alienness’, understood broadly as the condition of estrangement with regard to the law. Throughout the project, the ‘alien’ becomes a recurrent figure and a discursive tool that allows for queer modalities of understanding state-sponsored forms of violence and their enabling legal apparatuses.”
John Akomfrah at Lisson Gallery
22 January – 12 March 2016
“Akomfrah’s work is characterised by a rich, multi-layered visual style that is as poetic as it is political and which frequently fuses contemporary issues with history, fiction and mythology.”