Ed Atkins

Ed Atkins is an artist based in London, UK.

The artist and poet speak to frieze about staging the domestic intimacies of the pandemic and post-pandemic worlds

Abjection has gained renewed currency as art looks to the body and states of digital and physical decay

BY Ed Atkins |

As ever, I listened to Graham Lambkin more than anything else. In particular, an album with Jason Lescalleet called Photographs (2013). The domestic field recording/improv thing Lambkin's been honing for years, reaches an incredible pitch of intimacy and reverie here. Landmass-scaled tones arrive abruptly, simply, at a kitchen table in Folkestone at teatime; a Church of England hymn folds back and drifts off in the back of a taxi, the indicator segueing into a pensioner’s carriage clock. Loss is it’s great subject and also its material, in that the scale of the thing – temporally, sonically – encounters experience and its vital irrecuperability, celebrating the vicissitudes of memory through a kind of emphatic now that cannot be retrieved, and is all the more extraordinary because of it. That, and an insistence on the public quotidian mapped through personal document – something that Richard Dawson’s album Nothing Important (2014) shares. In fact, the two sets of musicians (Lambkin/Lescalleet and Dawson) are in many ways twinned, not least in how they stir up a profoundly political sense of British life, written into its relations, cultures and aesthetics. Both albums are so, so moving, perhaps because they’re so totally, radically apart from the rhetoric of contemporary British politics. Theirs is an affective politics that intones the pain of the government's systematic destruction of the very structures their music is formed of and through. Which, of course, is precisely the thing which provides hope, even as it eulogises its passing. Drunk on a flight back to London, I listened to the titular song from Nothing Important, and cried.

BY Ed Atkins |

A conversation between Ed Atkins and Matthew De Abaitua about the intertwining of art and technology

BY Matthew De Abaitua AND Ed Atkins |