Ed Atkins

One of the most prominent artists of his generation, Ed Atkins works primarily with High Definition video and text, exploiting and subverting the conventions of moving image and literature.

11 Jun 2014 to 25 Aug 2014
Serpentine Sackler Gallery / Exhibition
Admission Free

Final week: open Tuesday 19th August - Bank Holiday Monday 25th August, 10am - 6pm.

Centred around an augmented and appended version of the new multi-screen video work Ribbons, Atkins’s exhibition transforms the Serpentine Sackler Gallery into a submersive environment of syncopated sounds, bodies and spaces. This is his largest solo exhibition in a UK public institution to date.

Ribbons (2014) will have its UK premiere at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in a site-specific adaptation. Presented alongside installations of text and images, accompanying videos and tourettic interjections, the exhibition will underscore the ambivalent relationship that exists between real and virtual objects; between real and virtual conditions.

“The Sackler exhibition will re-possess some sort of sub-horror genre; the old powder rooms, haunted by the phantom smell of gunpowder, paranoia and anticipation of violence, will emphasise a particularly phantasmatic aspect of Ribbons; the protagonist’s questionable corporeality, their presence, their performance of loss and monstrousness” – Ed Atkins

Sounds from a suite of synchronised projections positioned throughout the Gallery will lead the visitor through the space, with glimpses of song, swells of orchestra, murmuring voices and waves of sub-bass. Ribbons is part musical, part horror, and part melodrama; Bach’s Erbarme Dich and Randy Newman’s I think it’s going to rain today are two of the songs featured. Naked, lonely and misanthropic, the palpable melancholy of Atkins’s Computer Generated avatar hero is ‘rendered’ as HD graphic, troll, voyeur and, perhaps, artist.

Atkins’s work draws attention to the way in which we perceive, communicate and filter information. His videos combine layered images with incomplete or interrupted excerpts of singing, speech, subtitles and handwriting. Working with a specialist in computer generated animation, Atkins exploits the hyperreal surfaces produced by new software systems to create complex, nightmarish environments populated by virtual characters, avatars of ambiguous provenance and desires. Atkins has described the male figure that appears in these works as ‘a character that is literally a model, is demonstrably empty – a surrogate and a vessel’. Despite the emotive music and poetic syntax of the protagonists, their emptiness serves to remind the three-dimensional, warm-bodied viewer of their own physicality.

The experience of the physical body in Atkins’s show will be contrasted with and complemented by the durational performance being undertaken by Marina Abramović, whose exhibition runs concurrently at the Serpentine Gallery.

Shop: 
Related Events / Exhibitions: 
Serpentine Gallery
11 Jun 2014 to 25 Aug 2014
Exhibition

The Serpentine premieres a new durational performance by Marina Abramović.

Serpentine Pavilion
Sun 20 Jul 2014 - 12:00pm to 5:00pm
Family

Artist Jenny Moore leads a fun, participatory performance workshop, drawing from both the Ed Atkins and Marina Abramović exhibitions, including a mass experiment in choreography and instruction from the voice inside your head.

Serpentine Pavilion
Fri 27 Jun 2014 - 8:00pm to Fri 3 Oct 2014 - 10:00pm
Live

Between June and October 2014, Serpentine Galleries present Park Nights, an annual series of live art, poetry, music, film, literature, performance and theory.

Image Credits

Featured image
Artist
Ed Atkins
Year
Credit(s)
2014

Stills from the three-channel HD video Ribbons (2014)

Image copyright
Image courtesy
Courtesy of CABINET, London and Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin

Ed Atkins installation shot

Ed Atkins

2014
Installation view, Serpentine Sackler Gallery, London (11 June – 25 August 2014)

Ed Atkins installation shot

Ed Atkins

2014
Installation view, Serpentine Sackler Gallery, London (11 June – 25 August 2014)

Ed Atkins installation shot

Ed Atkins

2014
Installation view, Serpentine Sackler Gallery, London (11 June – 25 August 2014)

Ed Atkins installation shot

Ed Atkins

2014
Installation view, Serpentine Sackler Gallery, London (11 June – 25 August 2014)

Ed Atkins installation shot

Ed Atkins

2014
Installation view, Serpentine Sackler Gallery, London (11 June – 25 August 2014)

Ed Atkins installation shot

Ed Atkins

2014
Installation view, Serpentine Sackler Gallery, London (11 June – 25 August 2014)

Ed Atkins 11 Jun 2014 to 25 Aug 2014 at Serpentine Sackler Gallery

Info