Me, Myself and Art #15: Ribbons

Video still from Ribbons by Ed Atkins taken with the Samsung Galaxy Alpha.
Video still from Ribbons by Ed Atkins taken with the Samsung Galaxy Alpha.

In our “Me, Myself and Art” series, in collaboration with Samsung Galaxy Alpha, Sleek takes an immersive approach to the art world. Via the medium of writer and stylist Ella Plevin, and her shiny new Samsung Galaxy Alpha, we bring the art world to you in a uniquely personalised way, utilising performance, selfies and video to present new perspectives on the art scene. Check out #SleekAlphaSelfie to win a phone for yourself. 

Another trip to Schöneberg’s gallery mile–this time for Ed Atkins’ show “Ribbons” at Isabella Bortolozzi. The British artist has been writer in residence at the Whitechapel Gallery for over a year “as a tumor”, was a finalist for the 2013 Jarman award and has shown work at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, London’s ICA, Tate Britain and Serpentine galleries, Kunsthalle Zurich and Moma PS1 in New York… all since graduating from the Slade School of Art barely six years ago.

 A #sleekalphaselfie taken with the Samsung Galaxy Alpha
A #sleekalphaselfie taken with the Samsung Galaxy Alpha

Critic Adrian Searle has described Atkins’ work as “Sometimes [coming] together, sometimes [falling] apart” and it’s this sense of collage, or patchwork (whatever hand-worked metaphor you like) that is both so striking and bewildering. The haphazard stitching together of elements is Atkin’s signature. His video works are like a game of pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey using sound, imagery, pacing and tone.

Video detail of Ribbons by Ed Atkins taken with Samsung Galaxy Alpha
Video detail of Ribbons by Ed Atkins taken with Samsung Galaxy Alpha

The line through the work seems to be a preoccupation with (dis)embodiment and (un)being; a clear interest in mediation. Atkins takes turns at bridging and dividing virtual and physical vessels, relishing the chance to embrace the corporeal grotesque (the fleshy, liquid mess of the body) through technology: exquisitely rendered genitals and the carnal sounds of consumption and expulsion let rip loudly and often from his work.

Video still of Ribbons by Ed Atkins taken with the Samsung Galaxy Alpha
Video still of Ribbons by Ed Atkins taken with the Samsung Galaxy Alpha

Atkins also has a thing for communication, aside from visual cues including tattoos (“wet thing”, “bankrupt”, “troll”) highly stylized banners and DOGs (digital on-screen graphics), his CG avatar is often speaking or singing. Occasionally the language makes clean, precise sense; otherwise, it’s poetically splintered gibberish, like the muddled output from a machine or organism riddled with infection, malware or time. But the metric by which Atkins selects his material is completely obtuse. Any meaning is encrypted in lemons, shattered highballs and Bach.

A #SleekAlphaSelfie taken with the Samsung Galaxy Alpha
A #SleekAlphaSelfie taken with the Samsung Galaxy Alpha

Text by Ella Plevin

To see more from our Me, Myself and Art series and to enter to win a Samsung Galaxy Alpha of your own, check out our #SleekAlphaSelfie competition 

Check out previous entries here on our #SleekAlphaSelfie Tumblr

 

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Me, Myself and Art #16: Away From Keyboard