Ballad is a public project presented by DHC/ART Education in conjunction with the exhibition Modern Piano Music by Ed Atkins, which runs from April 20 – September 3, 2017.
An overhead projector sits in the dark, intimate Traces space at the end of the G0 corridor. Ballad invites you to write, using the markers and acetates provided, a single word, stanza, or stream of consciousness in response to the exhibition. As the confessions shared by Atkins’s avatars continue to resonate, what will you choose to express? Your poetry or prose will appear on and around the outline of a human head that is projected on the opposing wall for others to read and ponder, as you may reflect on the texts of those who came before you.
The starting point for Ballad is the important role text plays in the process, structure and content of Atkins’s video works. In his multi-channel video work Ribbons, fleeting, animated text combines with the musings of Dave, the avatar-protagonist, who expresses his sadness in word and song. His forehead, upper limbs and torso are covered with pleas, accusations and insults, putting the body and its skin at the centre of this sentimental, unsettling scene. Ballad considers questions of tangibility/intangibility and materiality/immateriality of the body and of text, and recalls the layering process inherent to 3D animation.
Illustration: Orysia Zabeida