in News | 23 NOV 23

Frieze to Partner at the 60th Venice Biennale in 2024

Frieze will support the British Pavilion created by London-based artist John Akomfrah in partnership with the British Council

in News | 23 NOV 23

Frieze has announced a new partnership in support of the British Council Commission for the British Pavilion – realized by London-based artist John Akomfrah – at the 60th Venice Biennale in 2024. The partnership expands Frieze’s collaborations with UK institutions as part of its ongoing commitment to provide support for the non-profit sector. 

Akomfrah, who received a knighthood in 2023, is known for his investigation of issues of racial injustice, colonial legacies, diasporic identities, migration and ecology, across art films and multi-channel video installations. He was chosen to represent Great Britain at the Biennale by an advisory panel chaired by Skinder Hundal (Global Director of Arts, British Council) and featuring Melissa Appleton (Director of Programme Peak Cymru and de Appel Curatorial Fellow 2023), Ekow Eshun (Curator and Editor-in-Chief, Tank), Kim McAleese (Director, Edinburgh Art Festival), Khanyisile Mbongwa (Curator, Liverpool Biennial), Melanie Pocock (Acting Artistic Director, Exhibitions, Ikon), Emma Ridgway (Director, The Foundling Museum, Shane Akeroyd Associate Curator, British Pavilion, La Biennale di Venezia 2022) and Mariam Zulfiqar (Director, Artangel). 

John Akomfrah, Mimesis: African Soldier, 2018, three-channel video installation still. Courtesy: © John Akomfrah, Smoking Dogs Films and Lisson Gallery, London
John Akomfrah, Mimesis: African Soldier, 2018, three-channel video installation still. Courtesy © John Akomfrah, Smoking Dogs Films and Lisson Gallery, London

‘Championing artists, institutions, galleries and non-profit organizations has always been at the heart of what we do at Frieze,’ said Eva Langret, Director of Frieze London. ‘This year, in celebration of Frieze London’s 20th anniversary, we launched several initiatives, awards and institutional acquisition funds aimed at bolstering the United Kingdom’s culture sector, while also paying tribute to the wider arts ecosystem that sustains creative life globally. Our new partnership with the British Council feels like a natural extension of this core commitment and we couldn’t be prouder to support John Akomfrah, a luminary of the contemporary British art scene, as he presents a new commission for La Biennale di Venezia.’

Skinder Hundal, Director of Arts for the British Council said: ‘We are delighted that Frieze is supporting the realisation of John Akomfrah’s solo presentation next year in Venice. Working with an organization who champion and support a global ecology for the best contemporary art from one of UKs most creative cities is befitting for the presentation in 2024. I’m delighted that Frieze’s investment will enable another pioneering show in the award-winning British Pavilion.’ 

The 60th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia – is on view from 20 April–24 November 2024.


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Main and thumbnail image: John Akomfrah at his London studio, 2016. © Smoking Dogs Films. Courtesy Smoking Dogs Films and Lisson Gallery