'SUBLOOP (why make it hard when it can be easy)' is the first digital solo exhibition by Edwin Burdis. It presents a new film produced by the artist, with the same title, together with a substantial series of 90 new digital drawings, which will be available as NFTs and dropped in 3 batches of 30 over the duration of the show.
For over a decade, Burdis has used a multifaceted practice as a vehicle to fuse his activities in the visual arts, film and music, instigating collaborations with musicians, singers, dancers, writers and artists. His long-standing career in both fields led him to producing and directing music videos for emerging and established bands, such as Arctic Monkeys, Rustin Man, Alexis Taylor andBuzzard Buzzard Buzzard, which fed his appetite for creating ambitious moving image work that combines filmed and animated material with his electronically composed music.
His new film work 'SUBLOOP', combines his animations with a new composed musical score in a manner reminiscent of his music campaigns, but intentionally shifting between scenes and images with no clear protagonist or plot. The music is made up of beats only and has no lyrics. The lack of narrative and erratic pace epitomises the chaotic nature of lust; an emotion that Burdis returns to again and again throughout his work. Fleshy protuberances and amorphous masses create a provocative ensemble. Sound, colour, shapes and marks are allowed to flow, repeat and embrace the tension between chaos and order. Burdis describes the work embodying the movement of a Break Boy or Break Girl devoted to the loop with feet off and on the ground.
With no formal education in the arts, Burdis' career grew out of his involvement in the music scene. He grew up in the ‘80s experimenting with B-Boy culture and becoming a DJ, performing in the guise of his former alter-ego Ed Laliq. Having gone on to collaborate with peers, including Mark Leckey, Bonnie Camplin and Steve Claydon, he found his practice moving towards the visual arts and international gallery and museum exhibitions. Series of paintings like 'Back, Sack and Crack' (2009-2010) epitomise the prolific energy in Burdis’ making process. They offer an insight into the artist's personal fantasies and his perception of human desire through sexual, unsightly, and often perverse, vignettes.
In 2020, the move to drawing on his iPad opened a space for a new form of improvisation and speed, as a rapidly growing series of digital drawings developed in a manner that the artist described "like going for a walk with no destination in mind". These works evolve from his 'Back, Sack and Crack' series and painting practice whilst offering a return to the simple energy and automatism he recalls from the B-Boy days of his youth. A stream of associations come to mind in the viewer as they scroll through the multitude of drawings. The reading of these drawings as a mass, is as crucial to the understanding of the work, as engaging with the isolated space and fetishised forms within each drawing.
Burdis, his alter-egos, and each viewer, are led by the dance and beat in a space that is nowhere and everywhere. Yet in both bodies of work, there is an important undercurrent of self-sabotage in the work's bravado. Forms are destroyed as quickly as they are constructed, built and lost within their loops, chaos outdoes order and humour undoes style. In an age of extraordinary mass media consumption and entertainment, Burdis deploys the homogenisation of today’s image conscious society with ambivalence and absurdity.
Credits: Music composed by Edwin Burdis with THE BAND CVC
Edwin Burdis (b. 1974, Newcastle, UK) has significantly contributed to the London art scene for over a decade and is now based between London and Wales. He received a Creative Wales Award (2016/2017) and an Arts Council England bursary to produce his operatic film work ‘Light Green and Dark Grey (A Personal View)’ (2014). He had a commission and residency at Jupiter Artland, Edinburgh (2015); was commissioned for SCULPTURE AT Bermondsey Square, London, (2015); and had a residency at Primary, Nottingham, UK (2014).
His work has been presented internationally, including: Hayward Gallery, London, UK; Jupiter Artland, Edinburgh, UK; Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge, UK; MK Gallery, Milton Keynes, UK; Arnolfini, Bristol, UK; MOMA Machynlleth, Wales, UK; ICA, London, UK; TATE Modern and TATE Britain, London, UK; g|39, Cardiff, Wales, UK; Zabludowicz Collection, London, UK; Jerwood Visual Arts, London, UK; Plymouth Art Weekender, Plymouth, UK; Cardiff Contemporary Visual Arts Festival, Wales, UK; Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK; South London Gallery, London, UK; Focal Point Gallery, Southend, UK; Modern Art Oxford, Oxford, UK; New Art Gallery, Walsall, UK; Grimm Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, D; Skanes Kunstforening, Malmo, Sweden; Gavin Brown Enterprise, New York, USA; and at the art fair ARTISSIMA, Turin, IT (solo stand with VITRINE).
Burdis was the first artist-in-residence at Domino Records.