29 November 2018

New Commission: Elizabeth Price, FELT TIP

FELT TIP is a new two-screen video installation by Elizabeth Price that has been commissioned by the Walker Art Center, Film and Video Umbrella and Nottingham Contemporary. FELT TIP will premiere alongside a new companion work, KOHL, in a solo exhibition by Price at the Walker in Minneapolis, USA, beginning in December 2018. The two pieces then travel to Nottingham Contemporary in February 2019.

Like KOHL, FELT TIP hints at how underlying structural influences shape the complexion of things at the surface. Using a distinctive arrangement of two vertical projections (positioned directly one on top of the other), the installation traces a fluctuating line that distinguishes ‘above’ from ‘below’, separating the latent from the visible.

Price’s use of the work’s recurring motif, the male necktie, highlights how an item of superficial appearance can be unexpectedly revealing. Noting a 1980s vogue for necktie designs with mock-digital patterns, FELT TIP considers how this might be seen as symptomatic of a shift from objects to services, from a coal-fired industrial economy to a future built on electronic networks: a tectonic shift that shook the class structures of 1980s Britain, producing a desire to throw off restrictive old-school allegiances and, as it were, ‘get with the program’.

Later in the narrative, the chorus of synthetic voices tells of another imagined version of the future, where men’s ties are adopted by women; not knotted, but draped provocatively or used for their own means of marking and subverting identity. Eloquent, insightful, and expertly fluent in its handling of eclectic material, FELT TIP is a vivid meditation on social codes, gender norms and the phenomenology of lived experience.

Commissioned by the Walker Art Center, Film and Video Umbrella and Nottingham Contemporary, with support from Arts Council England.

Forthcoming Exhibitions: Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, USA, 7 December 2018 - 23 February 2020; Nottingham Contemporary, 17 February - 5 May 2019.

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