Jerwood/FVU Awards: “Tomorrow Never Knows” Ed Atkins, Naheed Raza

Ed Atkins, Naheed Raza

Two new moving-image commissions by early-career artists Ed Atkins and Naheed Raza in response to the curatorial theme “Tomorrow Never Knows.  

Naheed Raza’s commission continues her exploration of the phenomenon of cryonics. This technologically-assisted attempt to extend the span of human life still has its acolytes around the world but also seems strangely dated, like the product of Sixties science-fiction. Raza’s large-scale projection work, filmed at different institutes in the United States, delves deeper into our complex and often ambiguous relationship with death, contrasting individuals’ belief in scientific progress with the age-old fantasy of overcoming nature’s ultimate limit.

Ed Atkins commission is set at the bottom of the ocean, implying both the murky, latent presence of the unconscious and the way it threatens to surface at any moment. Contemporary computer imaging seeks to render the body in ever more life-like way and although modern motion-capture techniques can seem either cold and clinical, or alien and uncanny, Ed Atkins’ work evokes that spark of vitality and individuality that is often to be found in visceral actions or inadvertent gestures.

The two artists were selected from a long-list of over 50 artists nominated by an expert panel. Each artist received a bursary of £20,000 and production support from FVU in order to make new work.

The Jerwood/FVU Awards are a major annual opportunity for moving-image artists run in partnership by Jerwood Charitable Foundation and FVU. They were established in 2012 in response to a need for significant major commissions for early-career moving-image artists at an unproven stage in their practice, and contribute to an ongoing dialogue around urgent or timely concerns within moving image through the curatorial theme, which changes each year. Alumni include Ed Atkins, Corin Sworn, Emma Hart and Marianna Simnett. 

Ed Atkins, Warm, Warm, Warm, Spring Mouths, 2013. Commissioned as part of the Jerwood/FVU Awards 2013. Image: thisistomorrow.info