london

Ed Atkins, Ribbons, 2014, three-channel HD video, color, sound, 13 minutes 19 seconds.

Ed Atkins

Serpentine Galleries

Ed Atkins, Ribbons, 2014, three-channel HD video, color, sound, 13 minutes 19 seconds.

The end of a night like any other, facedown on the bar with a cigarette turning to ash between two fingers, singing a perfectly acceptable rendition of the aria “Erbarme dich” from Bach’s St. Matthew Passion before your head deflates and everything goes dark. We’ve all been there, right?

This blackout into canonical bathos is the repeated fate of the computer-animated protagonist of Ed Atkins’s video work Ribbons, 2014, the centerpiece of his recent solo exhibition, a triptych of simultaneously projected roughly thirteen-minute-long video works. These played on a synced loop along the back wall and in the crypt-like vaults of the darkened arsenal, with a short intro sequence and concluding blue screen accompanied by synthy reference music giving you time to move between them, as if binge-streaming some particularly dark Netflix sitcom. At the Sackler, they were flanked by two

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the October 2014 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.