Akeroyd Collection


Ed Atkins, Hair by Ed , 2013

Hair by Ed was originally made as a contribution to the Mark Leckey curated touring show The Universal Addressability of Dumb Things, 2013 for Nottingham Contemporary. The video shows CGI renderings of a shirtless male model flaunting his luscious long hair. Using the clichés and tropes of hair product advertising, the model pouts, shakes, flicks, and strokes their hair into posed and affected configurations. The camera moves around the body offering its best advantage and yet there is something grotesque and uncanny with the renderings, the figure, and the insistence on visibility. The cinematic cutaways and fade-to’s are done using close crops of rendered hair. It is shiny and silky and moves in a realistically weighted and bouncy fashion. Periodically, however, the exaggerated depth of field reveals an intrusive object just out of focus in the segue shots. They appear to be dangling corpses' legs. Blue and lifeless, a quite literally ‘horrific’ antithesis to the life-affirming intentions of beauty product advertising that the video otherwise apes. Shown on a cube monitor on a plinth, the work formed part of a larger installation of works by other artists, assembled by Mark Leckey, as part of the show. The project explored the ‘magical world of new technology, as well as tracing its connections to the beliefs of our distant past. Historical and contemporary works of art, videos, machines, archaeological artefacts and iconic objects, like the giant inflatable cartoon figure of Felix the Cat – the first image ever transmitted on TV – inhabit an ‘enchanted landscape’ where objects seem to be communicating with each other and with us.

Medium4.3 HD video with 5.1 surround sound
Duration5 minutes 15 seconds
Editionof 5 + 2 APs