From Hitler’s Berlin to Kendrick Lamar’s Compton, the Hayward’s diverse fusion of 10 immersive installations offers a feast of sound and vision. By Laura Cumming
....Indeed, if there is a theme to this wonderfully various show, it is the resurgence of history in the present. This is so subtly conveyed in Canadian artist Stan Douglas’s Luanda-Kinshasa, you don’t immediately know what he’s up to. On screen is a jazz-funk jam session at a Columbia Records studio some time in the 70s. It is sumptuous – the riffs slowly developing, the beat building before (and inside) you, the musicians characteristically rapt. The quality of colour, the noticing of every shaft of smoky light and dancing dust mote, of hoop earrings and oiled afros, the bass player’s terrible lace shirt and the drummer’s psychedelic tunic: every detail is so superbly depicted that you begin to wonder how (and when) the film was made.
More and more instruments join in – bongos, Moogs, Hammond organ. It seems to be one single session with numerous cameras, yet this is surely impossible. No way could the cameras have swept so seamlessly among all these African musicians....
Laura Cumming reviews Stan Douglas' Luanda-Kinhasa, 2013 featured in The Infinite Mix, The Store, 180 The Strand until 4 December 2016.