Lost Your Way
“Lost Your Way” is Tim Etchells’ fourth solo project with Ebensperger. The exhibition comprises the eponymous new neon work alongside several works on paper, videos and a large piece made with steel letters and LEDs . Enough is a set of 14 new monotypes. The video Eyes Looking shows a series of short phrases spelled out in letters made of ice which dissolve to water, the words turning repeatedly to pattern shape and reflection. The piece was first shown across Times Square in 2016, the different phrases appearing in dialogue with each other creating unexpected variations scramblings and re-imaginings of the body and its activities: Eyes Touching, Hands Walking, Blood Listening, Ears Looking.
Installed in the main space at Ebensperger, In the Trees is a large-scale sculpture with steel letter-forms and LED bulbs, originally commissioned for Lichtparcours Braunschweig 2020. The full text reads “The sound you are frightened of is only the wind in the trees”. Conceived as a spatial intervention and as a poetic text work, the sculpture operates in the tension between its invocation of fear and its offer of reassurance, the speculative presence and simultaneous absence or denial of a threat. What might the sound referenced the work be? Who is the “you” that is frightened? And who is the speaker? Can its generic form of reassurance be trusted? Whilst resonating with the built environment and historical context of its installation context at Ebensperger’s new location in a former bunker and bomb shelter – the work at the same time gestures evocatively to broader questions including cultural and political anxieties arising from climate change.
“Lost Your Way” also presents a selection of collaborative video works by Tim Etchells and the artist Vlatka Horvat from between 2001 and 2021, shown here together for the first time: Table Animals and Insults and Praises are shown here alongside Horvat’s Until the Last of Our Labours Is Done in which Etchells performs, and Down Time, one of Etchells’ earliest and best-known video works.
Tim Etchells is an artist and a writer based in the UK. He has worked in a wide variety of contexts, notably as leader of the world-renowned performance group Forced Entertainment and in collaboration with a range of visual artists, choreographers, and photographers. His work spans performance, video, photography, text projects, installation and fiction. He is currently Professor of Performance & Writing at Lancaster University.
Tim Etchells’ neon and LED pieces often draw on his broader fascinations as an artist, writer and performance maker, exploring contradictory aspects of language – the speed, clarity and vividness with which it communicates narrative, image and ideas, and at the same time its amazing propensity to create a rich field of uncertainty and ambiguity.
Tim Etchells (born 1962 in Stevenage, UK) has exhibited widely in the context of visual arts, with solo shows at Ebensperger (Berlin, Salzburg, Vienna), VITRINE (London), Bloomberg SPACE (London), Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver) and Kunstverein Braunschweig. His work has appeared in the biennales Manifesta 7 (2008) in Rovereto, Italy, Goteborg Bienale (2009), October Salon Belgrade (2010), Aichi Trienale, Japan 2010, with Vlatka Horvat, Manifesta 9 (Parallel Projects) 2012 and as well as part of Folkestone Triennial 2014 and The Great Exhibition of the North at Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art (2018). Selected group shows include …of bread, wine, security and peace (Kunsthalle Wien, 2020), Lichtparcours Braunschweig (2020), The Cipher & The Frame (Cubitt Gallery, London, 2015), MirrorCity (Hayward Gallery, London, 2014), The Part in the Story (Witte de With, Rotterdam, 2014), Version Control (Arnolofini, 2013), as well as Netherlands Media Art Institute (Amsterdam), MUHKA (Antwerp), Galleria Raffaella Cortese (Milan), Sparwasser HQ (Berlin), MACBA (Barcelona) and Kunsthaus Graz.
Vlatka Horvat (born 1974 in Čakovec, Croatia) works across sculpture, installation, drawing, performance, photography, video and writing. Her work is presented internationally in a variety of contexts – in museums and galleries, theatre and dance festivals and in public space. After 20 years in the US, she currently lives in London. She will represent Croatia in the 2024 Venice Bienale.