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 transports us to a pseudohistoric world of peasantry, bucolic landscapes and eternal ruin. Characters weep continuously, their lives devoid of dramatic redemption; 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.
English and German text.
Accompanies the exhibition ‘Ed Atkins’, 19 Jan — 31 Mar 2019, Kunsthaus Bregenz.
Co-published with KH Bregenz.