Edwin Burdis, 'UIB' (2014)

Multiple points in this crude landscape
Commission #2
Edwin Burdis

PREVIEW AND PERFORMANCE: Wednesday 1 October, 18:00–21:00
EXHIBITION: 2 October–1 November
OPENING TIMES: Thursday–Saturday, 12:00–18:00

Edwin Burdis’ work combines a hedonistic mix of pop-culture and transcendental ambitions; creating complex projects that often encompass a wide range of media, including sculpture, painting, performance, video and music, to produce what he has described as ‘operas’. Within recent works such as The Fruit Machine (2013) and MegaDairyPigFarm (2012) these operas are presented within a landscape of paintings and objects; combining Edwin’s strikingly surreal imagery and his rich sound vocabulary to exhilarating effect.

For the second commission within Multiple points in this crude landscape, Edwin has undertaken a period-in-residence at Primary – experimenting with an evolving series of paintings, sculptures and videos. Two ‘sentinels’ – objects that watch over us – that have emerged through this process will be exhibited at Primary and brought to life through a soundtrack developed for the space. They function as characters in an opera about an imagined future Britain – UIB – revealing aspects of life on these islands, and dreaming about how this change occurred. These sentinel characters will recur, and the narrative continue to play out, through three video episodes appearing online through the duration of the exhibition.

The United Islands of Brittle-leen – a land now largely submerged below water – is an unfamiliar world inhabited by disturbing individuals that we encounter through overlapping images and narratives. Ambiguous characters such as ‘Blue Jean Girl’ and her ‘Boy Toy Bitch’ roam the island of Rottingham Pig, whilst gangs of Southern UIBs hang out on the headland around a campfire.Through the work we overhear snippets of their conversations, observe their everyday encounters – and begin to interpret, and pick apart stereotypes of identity that run through this cast of characters.

This is a rich landscape, this is a grey goo environment, this is a story from the future passed on by word of mouth …

“She fell into a deep sleep at the foot of The Happy Drone Light House, wild images and windows opened up to her, dreams of metal machines of a different age, shiny chrome-a-holic limbs, last long plastic window holes, boat parts that move on dry land, all from a long ago time, before the great Ooze-O-Wet floodings.”

Read Heather Phillipson’s text, ‘Edwin Burdis: The Pits’.


Edwin Burdis, In Conversation – Tuesday 16 September, 18:30

Patrick Farmer, Lunchtime Tour – Friday 17 October, 13:00

This commission is supported by The Henry Moore Foundation.

The video component of this work is available online here.

Photos: James E Smith

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