Chris Cunningham: flex
November 23 - January 12
From the age of 17, Chris Cunningham has worked in the
Film Industry, first as a special effects model artist
with Stanley Kubrick and from 1995 as the internationally
acclaimed director of music videos, especially created
and produced for friends and collaborators such as Richard
James -the Aphex Twin -, Squarepusher, Portishead and
Using the devices of science fiction, supernatural, horror
and B-movies, Cunningham suggests in his work stories
that articulate the relation of human feelings to the
mysteries and myths of our accelerated technological age.
Cunningham's visionary imagery is always balanced and
empowered by a great sense of humour, wit and irony.
Following his last music video project with Bjork in 1999,
Chris Cunningham has dedicated his time and energy to
making his own video projects. Anthony d'Offay has since
been supporting Cunningham's works, commissioning flex
in the same year, which premiered at the Royal Academy
's Apocalypse exhibition.
flex, is a video which aims to awaken one's
senses with strong, unforgettable images and electronic
music. Although the imagery is abstract, flex
is clearly structured and sequential. Beginning in total
darkness, a single light source is seen to approach in
time with the music. The light unfolds to reveal flesh
and bone. A body twists and shifts in front of us, obstructed
by shadows and a single, constantly moving source of light.
It is joined by a second, female, body. The light source
becomes an amorphous milky shape trailing slowly into
The soundtrack to this video was designed by Cunningham
in collaboration with Richard D. James, probably the most
outstanding experimental contemporary music composer.
It was the first time that Chris Cunningham had been shown
in an art context and the response was immediate and sensational.
As a result, the artist's work has been in great demand
Monkey Drummer was premiered at the 49th Venice Biennale,
2001 where Cunningham's room was crowded from morning
to night for five months. Ironic and funny, Monkey Drummer
is a video of a monkey laughing and grimacing, marking
time with the sound of music.
Chris Cunningham is currently working on a major body
of new works including videos, audio and sculptures. A
book is in production.
1970, Born in Reading (UK).
Lives and works in London.
5th gallery acknowledges the support of Anthony d'Offay
ltd. London, who commissioned and produced flex &
Monkey Drummer. 5th gallery would also like to thank Executive
producer Chiara Bersi Serlini.