FOR ‘TOMORROW NEVER KNOWS: ED ATKINS AND NAHEED RAZA’
Installation images at JVA at Jerwood Space from ‘Warm, Warm, Warm Spring Mouths’, Ed Atkins 2013. Photos: thisistomorrow.info
Stills from Warm, Warm, Warm Spring Mouths, Ed Atkins 2013
More images can be found on Ed Atkins’ tumblr account: atumour.tumblr.com
Screenplay excerpt and production image from Ed Atkins’ new commission.
I like to watch archive footage of fagged stand-up.
You like to watch pneumatic, hetero-stale, oatmeal-porn.
We like to watch state funeral coverage.
They like to watch the sonar.
He likes to watch drastic, surgery-stopping makeovers.
She likes to watch parochial videography on shagged CRTs
in the dim, sweet rooms of provincial museums.
It likes to watch the crude brushstrokes, made.
I like to watch catch-up TV.
You like to watch the infographics proving culpability.
We like to watch for the change on departure boards.
They like to watch turgid list shows limp into the night.
He likes to watch the scene unfurl through
the fat GRID of a portcullis.
She likes to watch the decline.
It likes to watch the blue ECG and the clue light fade
through the distorting, five-inch-thick, conically-egded,
acrylic plastic porthole of the hushed wet bell.
Screenplay excerpt from Warm, Warm, Warm Spring mouths. Ed Atkins 2013
Ed Atkins’ Warm, warm, warm Spring mouths is a follow-up to his pilot project Material Witness (or A Liquid Cop). Here, Atkins’ shifty, protean protagonist is not so much undercover as in too deep – his identity hidden; his body immersed and submerged. Sleeping with the fishes in his luminescent vacuum at the bottom of the ocean, he is the unquiet voice of the repressed, the face of the unfathomable (albeit a face that is framed and sometimes lost behind its mass of tangled, swirling hair). Netted by digital motion capture techniques, and embellished through computer animation, the slipperiness of truth and the difficulty of its representation are vividly entwined in this image, lending Atkins’ investigations a material, almost forensic resonance. Animators speak of the rendering of hair as the final frontier (and the elusive grail) of computer graphic verisimilitude. Get it right and your character is immediately believable. Get it wrong and it is an instant, incriminating giveaway. Atkins’ figure drifts deliberately between the two: fitfully surfacing like a nagging subconscious memory, a foreign body floating up from the depths. As with all of Atkins’ work, however, that frisson of indeterminacy lingers indelibly, haunting and troubling the mind.
Ed Atkins‘ works in video, sound, drawing and writing develop a discourse around High Definition. His practice particularly explores digital media’s apparent immateriality in relation to its possibilities for precise representations of the physical and corporeal world. Cadavers often appear in his work as a surrogate for this dialogue. The process of making is tangible in Atkins’ work, creating an awareness in the viewer of the surface of the image and the presence of the equipment used to produce it.
Atkins graduated with an MA from the Slade School of Art in 2009. He was selected for New Contemporaries in 2010. In 2011 he was included in the group exhibition ‘Time Again’ at SculptureCenter, NY; co-organised ‘A Dying Artist’ at The ICA, London; was shortlisted for the Jarman Award, and had a solo show at Cabinet Gallery, London. He has been commissioned by Frieze Film and Channel 4, and had a solo presentation for Art Now at Tate Britain entitled ‘A Tumour (In English)’. In 2012 his work was exhibited as part of ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ at JVA at Jerwood Space, London and he had solo projects at Chisenhale Gallery, London, Bonn Kunstverein and Isabella Bortolozzi Galerie, Berlin. In November 2012 he was one of eight recipients of the Paul Hamlyn Award.
Ed Atkins is based in London and represented by Cabinet Gallery, London and Isabella Bortolozzi Galerie, Berlin and is a lecturer in fine art at Goldsmiths College, London.
Extracts of The Morning Roundup by Gilbert Sorrentino used with permission from and thanks to Christopher Sorrentino
Ed Atkins’ tumblr