August 23, 2012 - Bonner Kunstverein - Markéta Othová and Ed Atkins
August 23, 2012

Markéta Othová and Ed Atkins

Markéta Othová, untitled, 2009. Silver gelatin print, 110 x 160 cm. Courtesy Markéta Othová, Nicolas Krupp Gallery, Basel and Jiri Svestka Gallery, Prag/Berlin.

Markéta Othová
Ed Atkins

25 August–28 October 2012

Opening: Friday 24 August, 7pm

Bonner Kunstverein
Hochstadenring 22
53119 Bonn
Hours: Tue–Sun 11–5pm
Thu 11–7pm

The Bonner Kunstverein is pleased to announce two new exhibitions: Czech photographer Markéta Othová’s project, which has been especially conceived for the architecture of the Kunstverein, and the first solo show in Germany of the British artist Ed Atkins. Othová’s analogue photographs meet Atkins’s high-definition video installation: black-and-white as well as color photographs of everyday moments and poetic stillness confront computer-generated film sequences with precise editing and intense HD colors. The two artists’ practices are considerably different, yet they both pursue a self-reflexive approach of their respective medium. Although conceived as solo presentations, the two positions engage here in a substantial dialogue, in which Atkins’s video projection echoes Othová’s photographs.

Markéta Othová
In its almost 50-year history, Bonner Kunstverein has engaged in an ongoing dialog with contemporary photography. Today we are more than happy to introduce an important artistic position from Eastern Europe. Markéta Othová (*1968 in Brno, lives and works in Prague) once compared her photographs to words that interact to form sentences. The syntactical arrangement of the works is an essential component of her artistic praxis. Her selection of images for this exhibition revolves around two kinds of spaces: the domestic realm and the realm of nature. Othová brings these spaces contrapuntally together and points out to their mutual correspondences.

Markéta Othová snaps inconspicuous moments in quiet, mostly black-and-white compositions. Keeping up with Czech photographic tradition, she fuses lyrical and conceptual approaches into a visual language that questions and traces the possibilities of the medium. The artist’s reflective perspective on the photographic medium also shapes her unusual concept for the Bonner Kunstverein. The rear half of the hall has been hung in an axisymmetrical way with the front half and thus plays up the mirror as a structural element that, on a wider level, shapes photography technically, but is also recurrent in the discourse about the medium. With her precise compositional structure, Markéta Othová has created an intriguing experience of space that, when walking through it, stopping to linger and study the prints, proves to be an echo-filled quest for the nature of the photographic image.

Ed Atkins
For his first solo exhibition in Germany, the British artist Ed Atkins (*1982 Oxford, lives and works in London) presents the multilayered project A Tumor (In English). A text by Atkins builds the core of the work and is printed as a take-away for visitors. Extracts from the text can be found in his precisely mounted film, which evokes now and then the atmosphere of Film Noir, but also 3D simulation. A Tumor (In English) articulates thoughts on existential questions about life and death, disease and body, restriction and liberation, and on the links between the material and the immaterial. These themes are closely related to Ed Atkins’s decision to use digital media. High Definition pictures show the filmed surfaces more exactly than we can see them ourselves and mock our perception with their persistent perfection. Atkins creates a tension by juxtaposing his grotesque, sometimes even repulsive, text to the estranging capacity of HD technology. Likewise, the artist balances out the lifelessness of the images by making the whole filmic apparatus palpable: the technical setup, the figure behind the camera, as well as the physical presence of the pictures. In his differentiated use of HD technology, Atkins addresses the attractive morbidity of this medium.

The work presented at Bonner Kunstverein reflects Atkins’s involvement with the concept of materiality, in particular the one of the body or of the voice. Although he helps himself to digital, that is, to immaterial means, his work conjures in the viewer a physical experience that is transmitted, not least of all, by the powerful soundtrack. Atkins studied at the Central St. Martin’s College of Art and Design and concluded his studies in 2009 at the Slade School of Fine Art in London. His works could be seen last year at the Tate Britain in London and SculptureCenter in New York.



The exhibition is supported by:

Markéta Othová and Ed Atkins at Bonner Kunstverein
Bonner Kunstverein
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