Ed Atkins: Death Mask 5 (2019)

A film by the British artist Ed Atkins that combines unseen tests, trailers and teasers with clips from his popular works.

Death Mask 5

Death Mask 5. Film still

© Ed Atkins

77 min, in English
Available 26 May to 1 June 2020

“Death Mask 5” (2019) is a specially compiled mix of Ed Atkins’ works from the past decade. The British artist, whose exhibition Old Food was shown at Gropius Bau as part of our Immersion programme series and who was part of our Schule der Distanz with his performance “Second Person”, plumbs the corporeal depths of digital moving imagery in his video works. Computer generated animation, emo musical theatre, collaged stock imagery, field recording, performance capture, disease, motion graphics and starless humour muster within his videos. Atkins’ unique visual language, both melancholic and absurd, confronts the viewer with intimate, arcane visions that seem caught in a purgatory of afterwards.

“Death Mask 5” was presented first in Kunstnernes Hus’ cinema in Oslo. Sequenced and edited like a particularly adventurous provincial multiplex program Atkins’ assemblage will feature unseen tests, trailers and teasers interspersing sections of significant works from his catalogue. With all his video works, Atkins insists usually on their being installed rather than screened, emphasising a different kind of encounter, where a viewer is seldom afforded the succour of a seat, the dark, dramatic redemption.

The work appears Courtesy the artist and Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin, Cabinet Gallery, London, Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, New York, Rome, Dépendance Gallery, Brussels.

“Death Mask 5” includes fragments from the following works:
“up/down, in/out”, 2017
“A Thousand Centuries of Death”, 2010
“Death Mask III”, 2011
“Good wine”, 2017
“Good bread”, 2017
“Good smoke”, 2017
“Hisser”, 2015
”A Primer for Cadavers”, 2011
“A Tumour (In English)”, 2011
“Cur”, 2010
”An Echo Button” with James Richards, 2011
“Performance Capture”, 2015/16
“Even Pricks”, 2013
“Untitled”, 2018
”Happy Christmas!!”, 2014
Test for “Material Witness OR A Liquid Cop”, 2010
Teaser for “Material Witness OR A Liquid Cop”, 2011
Trailer for “Happy Birthday!!”, 2014
Teaser for “Recent Ouija” at Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam 2015
Teaser for “Safe Conduct” at SMK, Copenhagen 2016
Teaser for “Warm, Warm, Warm Spring Mouths”, 2013
Super 8 footage from 1988
“Hair by Ed” for Mark Leckey, 2014