Paris

Ed Atkins, Ribbons, 2014, three-channel HD video, color, sound, 13 minutes 18 seconds.

Ed Atkins, Ribbons, 2014, three-channel HD video, color, sound, 13 minutes 18 seconds.

Paris

Ed Atkins

Palais de Tokyo
13, Avenue du Président Wilson
June 6–September 7, 2014

Curated by Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel/Hans Ulrich Obrist

Few young artists so instinctively grasp the zeitgeist as does Ed Atkins. In his films, computer-rendered avatars overflow with emotional monologues, and a virtuoso digital aesthetic is undercut by a fixation on flesh—death and decay are recurrent subjects. Staging near-simultaneous shows in London and Paris, the prolific British artist is set to present new works at the Serpentine alongside Ribbons, which debuted in Zurich this spring. The three-channel installation will also be the main event at the Palais de Tokyo. And yet the work won’t appear the same way twice. Arguably, the piece is Atkins’s best yet, revolving around lost love (and intemperate drinking), with a sound track featuring melancholy songs by Randy Newman and Henry Purcell, voiced by a self-medicating CGI skinhead. If such art aims to restore a sense of jangled presentness to spectators increasingly immersed in dematerialization, the abundant air of panic Atkins offers here hints that we might already be too far gone.