Akeroyd Collection


Luke Willis Thompson, How Long, 2018

How Long? Is a 16mm colour film, shot in portrait format and then transferred to digital video to be displayed at the full height of a gallery wall in the vertical orientation as it was filmed. The work consists of four silent filmed portraits of named local people from various villages in Fiji that the artist met and asked to work with. The first is Jone Lebanon, a 39-year-old man and the last, Inia Sinai, a seven-month-old baby. Each sitter becomes representative of a common social practice that is typical of indigenous Pacific cultures. Here, the naming of family members is often related to, or drawn directly from, significant events or people. In the cases of Thompson’s subjects, all have been given names of war zones where relatives have served or territories and nations in which they have worked. How Long? forms part of a loosely related body of works that have been presented together in the past; Autoportrait (2017), the silent black-and-white 35mm film of Diamond Reynolds, the partner of Philando Castile who was killed by police in Minnesota during a traffic stop, and Cemetery of Uniforms and Liveries (2016), a two-part black-and-white 16mm film shot of two black Londoners whose maternal relatives were killed by British police. Together, and in each case individually, these films highlight Thompson’s deep engagement with the history and current reality of institutional violence and racial injustice. Considering personal experience, inherited prejudice, and global political situations, Thompson poetically and carefully reveals the workings of power and how its implementation impacts people of colour everywhere.

MediumKodak Vision 3 250d colour negative film transferred to digital video
Duration11 minutes 46 seconds
Editionof 2 + 1 AP