• Charles Atlas, Institute for Turbulence Research, 2008, four-channel video projection, color, sound, 6 minutes.

    Charles Atlas

    Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst
    Limmatstrasse 270
    February 17–May 13, 2018

    Curated by Raphael Gygax

    Since the 1970s, Charles Atlas has worked at the limits of video technology with a range of luminous collaborators, from choreographers such as Merce Cunningham and Michael Clark to nightlife luminaries including Leigh Bowery, Dancenoise, and, recently, the raunchy leftist drag queen Lady Bunny. The Migros Museum, however, will present five multichannel installations that represent Atlas’s interests beyond performance-based work. One gallery will juxtapose Plato’s Alley, 2008, featuring an orderly black-and-white grid, with Institute for Turbulence Research, 2008, a disorienting environment of spinning images that seems to offer an immersive update of Dorothy’s bedroom view of the twister. They’ll also show the monumental Glacier, 2013—an outlier for Atlas, as it relies on stock footage—and, as the museum mysteriously stated, “two all new pieces.” In a call to the artist, I learned that one of these, Instant Fame, 2003/2006, will involve repurposing the live-edited video portraits he made during his 2003 show at New York’s Participant Inc. The other, he said hesitantly, after a suspenseful pause, will be “something . . . with monsters.”