go on: Jeffrey Ellom
Jeffrey Ellom, go on, 2020-21, video still

go on: Jeffrey Ellom

Flux Media Gallery, Victoria, BC - To March 18

by Christine Clark

Jeffrey Ellom works with music, visual art and video. His most recent work, Learn Akan Today, “satirized the medium of language-learning videos and reflected on... [his] struggles in practising Akan Twi.” His latest video, go on, is built out of found film stills, poetry and music. The images are antique tourist shots, and the poetry is ripe: it speaks of growth and overabundance and rot. The music features whispered words, water drops, a wooden fl ute, and drums. “The branch bends,” says the poet, and an insect skitters across the surface of still water.

As an artist with ties to West Africa, Ellom’s present work draws on and illuminates his inherited knowledge. He says: “The cyclical understanding of the metaphysical order informs the Akan ethos, where the weight of the lives of ancestors bears greatly on the present, and the current time is an opportunity to secure the future for descendants. Time fl ows from the present to the future and back to the present. ‘Tomorrow’ will soon become ‘today.’ ”

Ellom further writes, “The images that tourists create can be somewhat predictable, as travelers tend to cluster around particular sites at specific times of year... Yet for all their regularity and predictability, each one captures a singular, irrecoverable moment in time... I use the aesthetic vocabulary of tourism to o er the twin metaphors of the cycle and the line, and to convey a compatibility between them.”


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