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A.K. Burns’s interdisciplinary practise explores the body as a contentious domain where social, political, and material forces collide. Engaging deeply with questions of materiality and (re)production, Burns examines how power is connected to the body, its functions, physiological processes, sensations, and pleasures. For Burns, the body is not an object with inherent boundaries and properties but multifaceted and porous, permeating and penetrated by its surroundings. These inquiries take shape as visually seductive and socially critical videos, sculptures, writing, sound, drawings, and collages.

NEGATIVE SPACE, A.K. Burns’s first institutional solo exhibition in Germany, is comprised of three multi-channel video installations that are a part of an ongoing cycle of works by the same name. Conceived as a non-linear and layered narrative, this series envisions a world wherein boundaries are fluid and hierarchical relations permute. This cycle of works playfully corrupts science-fiction tropes exploring the intersection of politics and fantasy to build idiosyncraticallegorical imagery.

Burns deliberately locates the work in a speculative present filled with the detritus of everyday life. Filmed in stunning but familiar landscapes, like the desert of the Southwest United States, the Negative Space series exposes the tension between utopian proposals of sociality and apocalyptic anxieties. The works challenge long-standing assumptions about social orders, marshalling familiar images and objects to ask how value is assigned to resources, how marginalized bodies navigate a fraught social reality, and how different forms of matter come to matter.

At JSC Düsseldorf, Burns will restage two video installations A Smeary Spot (Negative Space 0) (2015) and Living Room (Negative Space 00) (2017), and premiere a new episode entitled Leave No Trace (Negative Space 000) (2019). In addition, the exhibition will include twenty-one collages related to the series, a new film observing a total solar eclipse, and an experimental sound work presented as a vinyl record.

NEGATIVE SPACE is part of HORIZONTAL VERTIGO, a year-long program at the JULIA STOSCHEK COLLECTION in Düsseldorf and Berlin, curated by Lisa Long.

JSC Düsseldorf, Schanzenstraße 54, 40549 Düsseldorf |Germany


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