London-based Chisenhale Gallery most recent exhibition presents Us Dead Talk Love, a new commission by Ed Atkins. 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 the exhibition at Chisenhale — his largest solo exhibition to date —, 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 the artist's precise exploration of the material qualities of the contemporary image world and its existential resonance.
Through 11 November 2012
Ed Atkins: Us Dead Talk Love
64 Chisenhale Road, London