5th home Guinness Storehouse

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 Björk.

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 infinity.

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 worldwide.

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.