For Cabin Pressure Jenkin van Zyl reconfigures Amanda Wilkinson Gallery into a fortified crate that alludes to van Zyl’s forthcoming film: In Vitro. Partially filmed on an abandoned film set on a frozen shore in Iceland, and reflecting the artist’s interest in narratives that tap dance on the borderline between hellscape and paradise, In Vitro unfurls in a subterranean office constructed out of the husks of chartered aircrafts. Enticed here by the promise of a good fantasy, a sextet of ghouls enact obscure libidinal rituals in a lottery of reproduction. A central motif in the film, whose core concerns are physical mutability and the rotation and plasticity of roles, is that of the body double.
Adjacent to the universe of In Vitro, Cabin Pressure locates us in the lair of a singular character from the film: Number 97, a Nosferatu-cum-Velma Kelly personage performed by Alex Margo Arden. In this exhibition sections of boarded-up modular fuselage host an array of elements: a glittering lavatory, Curtain Call; a film screened through blinking aircraft windows, Sorry-go-round; a large graphite drawing, I have abandoned my search for truth, and am now looking for a Good Fantasy; and a narrative text on the character of Number 97 by Brittany Newell, The Machines of Love.
The drawing at the centre of the installation depicts a bewildering trust-building exercise negotiated by a herd of Number 97’s doppelgängers. Gridlocked in a constellation of anticipation, melancholia and possibility, on a hallucinatory aircraft runway, Number 97’s multiples pivot on the pressure point at which barriers between the original and the copy, between self and other, collapse. Facing off against the drawing, the monitors that make up Sorry-go-round mimic coin-operated arcade machines and perform the interminable and risky process of rolling the dice.
Jenkin van Zyl Cabin Pressure Amanda Wilkinson 2nd – 19th December 2020 Wednesday – Saturday, 12 – 5pm or by appointment
About the Artist
Jenkin van Zyl (B. 1993, UK) lives and works in London and has a multidisciplinary practice comprising film, performance, drawing and sculpture. Recent solo and group presentations include Kiss my Genders, The Hayward Gallery, London (2019); Hors Pistes, Pompidou Centre, Paris (2020); Oblivion Industry, The Horse Hospital, London (2019); Kiss my Genders: live, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London (2019); the Royal Academy as part of their postgraduate degree, and will premiere a new immersive film installation In Vitro at Tramway as part of the Director’s Programme of the postponed Glasgow International in 2021.