South likes: Ed Atkins and Slavs and Tatars at Kunsthalle Zürich, Zürich

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Installation view Ed Atkins, Kunsthalle Zürich, 2014. © Stefan Altenburger Photography Zurich

South likes: Ed Atkins and Slavs and Tatars at Kunsthalle Zürich, Zürich
Ed Atkins / Slavs and Tatars «Lektor»
Kunsthalle Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland
15 February – 11 May, 2014

The current Ed Atkins’ and Slavs and Tatars’ shows at Kunsthalle Zürich are a highlight not to be missed. Of course, the artists’ names and CVs leave no room for doubt. But there’s more to it. On the one hand, Ed Atkins’s highly visual work gains its significance mostly from the peculiar relationship between its technical and formal elements and its narrative content. In his video installations, the artist combines fabricated image failures with HD technology as digitalized avatars or corpses dive into futile or failed endeavours. In Ribbons, his new three-screen piece premiering in this show, his approach is more explicitly influenced by films and literature. This type of work is critical towards contemporary reality by incorporating it, representing it and ultimately transforming it in an open-ended fashion. Whereas Ed Atkins seems to operate in a sphere of singularity and production of subjectivity, Slavs and Tatars’ practice is very much focused on difference and otherness, focusing on linguistic and cultural interstices. For Kunsthalle Zürich, Lektor comprises a homonymous sound piece, the installation Mother Tongues and Father Throats and a series of participatory discussions, screenings, performances and lectures. In fact, the Kunsthalle manages an events program that creatively merges its series of activities and events with the two shows on view. Un-like, for instance, is a three-part symposium that Ed Atkins developed together with the institution, while The Transliterative Tease is a lecture-performance by Slavs and Tatars followed by a discussion with translator of theory Stefan Nowotny.

Angeliki Roussou

http://www.kunsthallezurich.ch/index.php?id=5&L=1

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Installation view Ed Atkins, Kunsthalle Zürich, 2014. © Stefan Altenburger Photography Zurich

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Installation view Ed Atkins, Kunsthalle Zürich, 2014. © Stefan Altenburger Photography Zurich

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Slavs and Tatars, Mother Tongues and Father Throats, 2012, Wool, yarn. Courtesy the artists and Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin.

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