The film will be presented alongside a conversation between Keith and Joseph Morgan Schofield (LADA), filmed remotely in May 2020.
Z is a new performance film by Keith Khan. Echoing the still sparseness to be found in the work of the 17th century Spanish painter Franciscó de Zubarán, the film is inspired the by movements of penitence and suffering found in the devotional rituals of Spanish catholicism. Castigation is a common sight – men whip themselves in public, carry heavy saint statues on floats with bare feet in an ostentatious show of public suffering, visibly displaying their faith and devotion before others. Conversely, women suffer in silence and stillness at home. Here, performing a taconeo (the flamenco footwork), the female figure experiences a moment of release. Limited by the narrow range of expression and movement found in devotional religious sculpture, the performers Carolina Junco and Carlos Alma, work towards an experience of religious ecstasy.
Z can be seen as a counter point to a work Khan made in 1986 with Dianne Esguerra entitled Images from Purdah, and based on based on the Koran and Othello,
Keith Khan works with performance, film, drawing and textiles. Born in London, of Indo-Caribbean heritage, he interrogates the layers of inherited ethnic and cultural identities and the contemporary phenomenon of cultural confusion. His works are highly personal, but often presented in different locations and for an audience as diverse as himself.
Khan’s current practice draws on experiences of displacement – he has created a series of animations, large embroideries, drawings and made a series of films in China and India featuring artists and cultural commentators talking about their neighbours. A new commission by the Manchester International Festival, entitled “The Accountants” will premiere at the new digital space, “The Factory” in 2022.
In 2020 the BFI are re-releasing some early video work made by Khan and moti roti, a company he founded in the 90s.