Ed Atkins @ Cabinet


I like chill weekends, letting the week just passed wash behind me, and the week to come hit me like a wave. Slow Saturdays: when I haven't got to go to work I still wake up early. Me and my boy fuck fast before 8am and hold hands in coffee shops, he buys me almond croissants and we feel the time slowly as we walk instead of taking the bus. I don't bother to put on eyeliner, but I fill in my eyebrows.

Galleries can sometimes be interruptions. You go out of your way for a Capital E EVENT, you click 'going' on FB and you actually do go (a rarity). I like that, sometimes ceremony and ritual is nice. I like the pace of that weekday gallery visit. I've got things to do in the weekday. I'm a busy hoe, with a planner from Paperchase and reminders on my phone. I make To-Do lists and I pull out my laptop and edit on the tube; I like being busy.

But the pace of weekend gallery visits are so delicious, I appreciate the change of tempo.

I left my boy at the station and got on the bus. I listened to Tupac on my shitty Β£3.99 headphones from those lil hole in the wall shops that unlock iPhones, and I rolled a little skinny cigarette, got off the bus. I opened my carton of cranberry juice from the kiosk at the station. I smoked and drank as I walked.

There were 4 works, and they would all be bizarre if I had visited on a weekday.

On weekdays, I want to be told what's what. I want to be sat down, have my hand held. I want you to make me feel art NOW, because if you don't I've got other things to be getting on with. But it's a Saturday, and I still had half my cranberry juice. I sat down and let the Art happen without expecting much from it. I didn't try to understand it. I didn't try and demand things from it. _~*I didn't ask what Art could do for me, I asked what I could do for Art. *~_

There was a sound piece, 3 video works, and some charcoal drawings. The room was pitch black and the works didn't talk to each other. They just sat together in the dark in silence, enjoying each other's presence rather than each other's company. And I sat down and joined them as I finished my cranberry juice.

I don't think I made any observations or noticed any moment of realisation where I understOOD! the work. There was no clarity, no press release, no narrative I felt. I only thought of how I wanted to make Wikihow instructionals and how one day, in second year me and Gab spent an entire afternoon watching YouTube videos about how fountains physically work (the logistics of pumps and water pressure) because we didn't understand how the Romans did it without electricity.

There was only that feeling, when you learn about something new, or how something is made like shoelaces or how plastic is moulded. Like: 'oh? Ok then' and something changes but you don't bother trying to classify or analyse it.

I took the bus back home through Hackney and Tottenham instead of the tube, even though it takes an hour from old street to Wood Green. I felt the sun on my face and we drove past places I visit when it's dark and I'm drunk. We drove past Flowers Gallery and I briefly considered getting off for the Ken Currie show, but I have to get home. I'm off to IKEA now to buy some house plants, and I need to put the dark load in the washing machine. Rishi Rich came up on shuffle and we drove past my grandparent's old house in Tottenham, the road my Dad grew up on.