W–Sa: 12–5 pm; Su: 12–4 pm; M&Tu: closed
Enter the world that Amalie Atkins built. Set just beyond the veil of reality, a familiar prairie landscape transforms into a cinematic fable. In Atkins’s marvelous realm, an all-female cast embarks on an epic, bittersweet journey across time.
For over eight years, Atkins has been devotedly creating we live on the edge of disaster and imagine we are in a musical (2010–), for which the artist choreographs individual chapters into a circuitous, continuous plot. Atkins knits together autobiography with cultural history, fantasy with reality, and the conceptual with the emotional. The exhibition where the hour floats presents a selection of short films and large-format photographs from this larger, ongoing body of work.
Atkins’s work draws the viewer into a secret world that unfolds through moving and still images. The artist captures what Victor LaValle describes in his novel The Changeling as an “intimacy so acute it is almost magical.” Exchanges among her characters—mother and daughter, sisters young and old, folk dancers, and mythical Valkyries—illustrate a deep-rooted connection to one another that is both physical and psychological. The story is told through tender gestures and symbolic rituals, by which the artist makes strange everyday objects: a collection of kitchen aprons, a pair of roller skates, a plait of long hair. Scenes from this fairy tale unfold with sinister undertones, for like any heroine’s journey, this one involves both allies and enemies. In its telling, Atkins’s story poetically attends to the human condition: the bonds of sisterhood, trauma confronted from internal and external forces, belonging, notions of home, and ancestral ties to the motherland.
Supported by a London Drugs Printing Grant.