Luanda-Kinshasa, 2013

Basel 2016

Victoria Miro

single-channel video projection, color, sound
Since the late 1980s, Stan Douglas has created films, photographs, installations, and multimedia works that utilize both analog and digital technologies to present complex reimagined narratives that pertain to particular locations or past events. Douglas’s six-hour film Luanda-Kinshasa expands upon his interest in the African origins of the early 1970s New York music scene, while exploring notions of migration and the synthesis of cultural histories. Set in a reconstruction of the legendary Manhattan studio known as ‘The Church’ – operated by Columbia Records between 1949 and 1981 and home to some of the most renowned musical recordings of the twentieth century – Luanda-Kinshasa documents a fictitious 1970s recording session and features present-day professional musicians improvising two songs (‘Luanda’ and ‘Kinshasa’). Fashion styles, equipment, and tobacco and drink labels establish the setting, while scattered newspapers hint at the world outside. Similar to many of Douglas’s previous films, which have involved arbitrary loops that occasionally take days to unfold, Luanda- Kinshasa combines and recombines edits in a manner analogous to musical improvisation.