Elizabeth Price: K

Installation Views
Press release

GRIMM is pleased to announce the representation of Elizabeth Price (UK, 1966) and will exhibit K (2015), a two-screen, HD video installation in New York this September.

In this two-screen video installation, Elizabeth Price brings together disparate elements – text, image, synthetic voice and a stark, percussive soundtrack – in a witty and emotional exploration of lamentation, commerce, and labor. A ghostly stop-frame animation of the sun – created from thousands of glass plate slides taken between 1870 and 1948 – plays continuously on one of the two screens. On the other, a hypnotic CGI animation follows the production – the weaving, folding and packaging – of nylon stockings. Images of dancers and singers migrate between the two screens, seemingly responding to both the light of the sun and the motion of the machinery.

Binding these visual elements together is a narrative composed by Price and attributed to the Krystals, a fictional group of ‘professional mourners’. The synthetic voice, created using text-to-voice technology, describes the group’s highly ritualized practice, and its cultural provenance.

This work extends Price’s interest in digital moving image as a medium for polyphonic composition. In K, as in all of her recent video works, the narration is ostensibly provided by a group. She draws on formal devices of multiple voices in mu- sic, theatre and literature, to convey the principle of overlap- ping, rather than unified subjectivities.

The narratives are stranded rather than linear, and in K particularly, storytelling is used as an agile intermediary, binding the dissonant, apparently estranged elements of the visual composition into unlikely synchronicity.

K premiered in a solo presentation at ‘Unlimited’ Basel Art Fair 2015 and was subsequently exhibited in a solo show at The Model, Sligo in 2016. K was also presented in a group show, The Infinite Mix at the Hayward Gallery, London, curated by Ralph Rugoff in 2016, and exhibited in a group show The Bearable Lightness of Being at GRIMM, Amsterdam in 2017.