Chisenhale Gallery presents a new commission by Ed Atkins in his largest solo exhibition to date, Us Dead Talk Love. Atkins works primarily with high definition video and writing, exploring ideas of corporeality and materiality through digital and immaterial means. Using prosumer technology, he exploits the conventions of cinema and literature, attempting to materialise the body of the imagery, the equipment and the figure behind the camera.
For his exhibition at Chisenhale, Atkins has produced a new two-channel video work and surround-sound installation set against a backdrop of collaged panels. Us Dead Talk Love focuses on a dialogue between two cadavers that reflects upon immanence, representation and narcissism. Atkins describes the work as ‘a tragedy of love, intimacy, incoherence and eyelashes.’
Projected onto two angled screens, the video installation suggests the configuration of an interviewer and interviewee, in relation to one another and a gathered audience. Shifting through various moods and representational modes, the two cadavers discuss half-remembered desires, intimacy and love. Animation, keying techniques, immersive sound design, and the interdependent cutting of image and sound are all explored in order to exploit their affective potential - both emotional and physical - on the audience.
Combining physical presence and spiritual absence, the subject of the cadaver serves to parody the medium of the work itself. Atkins’s interest in High Definition and surround-sound technologies lies in their paradoxical ability to render surface and physicality, producing images that he has described as ‘at once both preposterously life-like and utterly dead.’ Us Dead Talk Love continues Atkins’s precise exploration of both the material qualities of our contemporary image world and its existential resonance.
Please note that this work contains strong language and sexual references.
Ed Atkins (born 1982, UK) lives and works in London. Recent solo presentations include Bonn Kunstverein (2012); Frieze Film Commission, Frieze Art Fair and Channel 4, London (2011); A Tumour (In English), Art Now, Tate Britain (2011); and Cabinet Gallery, London (2011). Atkins is a recipient of The Jerwood / Film & Video Umbrella Award 2012. He recently participated in The Mirror residency at Wysing Arts Centre and began a year-long tenure as writer in residence at the Whitechapel Gallery in September.
Ed Atkins's exhibition is supported by Shane Akeroyd and Bilge and Haro Cumbusyan. Chisenhale Exhibitions Partner 2012: Outset Contemporary Art Fund. With thanks to 2HB, Isabella Bortolozzi Galerie, Cabinet Gallery, MUSARC, Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner and Wysing Arts Centre.
Click here to download an expanded version of the script for Us Dead Talk Love. The text has also been published as a special issue of the journal 2HB, which is available for £2. Please ask at the front desk for more information.