Spread throughout the upper foyer of the Schauspiel Frankfurt, it’s facade facing towards Willy Brandt-Platz and the glass entrance of the Kammerspiele, James Gregory Atkinson and Jessie Holmes, both film students in the class of Douglas Gordon at Städelschule, present scenes from their ongoing video work T.A.N (The Architecture of Need). In front of a white background a variety of constellations, commodities and people and their sometimes absurd interactions are presented. The shooting took place in a film studio with support of a professional film crew. The video unfolds no continuous narrative rather a concatenation of short clips that had been situated in a dialogue between the artists.
The viewer is witness to how the artists examine everyday things in their formal language and integrate them as readymades in a Duchampian working sense. This creates combinations such as a chair and a sink, which together add up to a sculptural setting and are complemented by organic elements in the form of hair. Another scene shows a man who is presented as a commodity on a revolving stage. The camera scans these subject/object assemblages in a voyeuristic desire and dissects their surfaces. This slow filming, switching from near and far vision is reminiscent of an aesthetic, as we know from image productions in the advertising industry. The work is reminiscent of stock images found on the internet. Thematizing our remix culture through the use of alter imagery in which every sign through combination can generate new meaning, or cannot generate new meaning.
Throughout their work, which moves between art and commercialism, the artists also investigate the staging and mechanisms of commercial image making in formal-aesthetic terms. The fetishizing nature of such image production generates a desire that is no longer bound to the necessary needs. Instead, a surrealist design of objects is created that in this logic turns everything into a commodity. Through their hyper-staging the commodities upgrade in value. The presentation on multiple screens activates a dialogue between one another and based on repetition generates an artificial irrigation, similar to that of a shopping channel.