Shot like a documentary film on a set carefully crafted to resemble a legendary New York recording studio, Stan Douglas’s Luanda-Kinshasa depicts a fictional 1970s jazz-funk band engaged in a seemingly endless real-time jam. The band’s music echoes the then-current confluence of American jazz, funk and Afrobeat – a musical fusion made possible, as the video’s title indirectly implies, by the emerging independence and rising profile of African nations.
As the camera appears to seamlessly circle around the studio, the sound mix highlights whichever musician it lingers on, enhancing the impression that we are watching a live performance. But the band’s improvisation is actually a construction: intricately remixed by Douglas in the editing room, it extends through over six hours of ‘alternate takes’ created by recombining various shots and accompanying sections of music. Conjuring a never-ending sequence of variations, Luanda-Kinshasa conjures a vision of culture as a potentially ‘infinite mix.’
Stan Douglas (b. 1960, Vancouver) lives and works in Vancouver.
Luanda-Kinshasa is part of The Infinite Mix exhibition.