Trailer: KUB 2019.01 – Ed Atkins
19 | 01 — 31 | 03 | 2019
Ed Atkins is an artist who makes videos, writes and draws, developing a complex and deeply figured discourse around definition, wherein the impossibilities for sufficient representations of the physical, specifically corporeal, world — from computer generated imagery to bathetic poetry — are hysterically rehearsed. Atkins' works often centres on an unidentified figure, a kind of surrogate for the artist, who is animated by Atkins' own performance. The figure is to be found in situations of everyday despair, anxiety, frustration and pitch comedy.
Atkins' works are steeped in sentimentality. Sadness, beauty and transformation occur with the speed of paranoiac thought. Striking images, familiar musical phrases or poignant pleas are cut, ruined or denied at the last minute. Traces of profound affection and interrupted empathy linger. It is such sensation that makes Atkins' works so striking; an artificial realism and romantic lushness that models feelings often inexpressible in real life. Atkins will present a slice of new and recent works for Bregenz, including Old Food, a body of works that expands with each iteration.
Here, Atkins transports us to a pseudo-historic world of peasantry, bucolic landscapes and eternal ruin. Characters weep continuously, their lives devoid of dramatic redemption; a looping piano motif haunts the space; crowds of people plummet while credits roll; and inedible, impossible sandwiches assemble and collapse in lurid advertisements. Produced exclusively using CGI (computer generated imagery), everything in Atkins' exhibition is understood as fake — nostalgia, history, progress, authentic life, identity.
Ed Atkins (born 1982, United Kingdom) lives and works in Berlin and Copenhagen. Solo presentations include Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin; MMK Frankfurt; DHC/ART, Montréal (all 2017); Castello di Rivoli and Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin; The Kitchen, New York (2016); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2015), The Serpentine Gallery, London (2014); and The Chisenhale Gallery (2012) . An anthology of his texts, A Primer for Cadavers, was published by Fitzcarraldo Editions in 2016, and an extensive artist's monograph from Skira was published in 2017. In early 2019 Ed will have exhibitions at K21, Düsseldorf, and Kunsthaus Bregenz. A novel, Old Food, will be published in November 2019.