Nina Cristante is an artist, autodidactic nutritionist, Aquarius and my best friend. Had it not been for a mutual friend linking us during her temporary stay in NYC seven months back, I may’ve never been introduced to the full spectrum of her work. Just a subtle trail of digital breadcrumbs. Slow-mo-promo. A whisper, a wink, a bikini body meme. A deliberately ambiguous website hosting austere at-home workout videos and fragments of clients’ food diaries.
If you’re in London we recommend passing by the Chisenhale Gallery to see the latest work by Ed Atkins on view through November 11th.
Ed Atkins, Us Dead Talk Love
64 Chisenhale Road
London E3 5QZ
September 21 – November 11, 2012
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.
Click HERE to download an interview with Ed Atkins about his exhibition at Chisenhale.