Invites Focus: Elliot Dodd

Invites Focus: Elliot Dodd
Elliot Dodd, The Manbody, 2017 (still). Courtesy the artist
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Ahead of the imminent release of our new Invites Vol.2 publication, which marks the milestone of 50 exhibitions since the series began in 2012, we’re delighted to share some exclusive material from our archives. Each fortnight we will be focussing on one Invites alumni, giving access to interviews, installation views, and links to recent and upcoming projects. Also check out the Zabludowicz Collection Instagram for some gems from artists’ back-catalogues and some behind-the-scenes work in progress.

Elliot Dodd
In drawings, sculptures, videos and computer animations, Elliot Dodd responds to the absurd and awkward nature of consumer products and contemporary masculinity. His work uses diverse points of reference, both contemporary and historical, to reflect on the human desire for certainty and control, shaped through channels of technology.

I can’t just sit here. I get fidgety. My gizmo is all out of sorts.

Dodd’s Invites exhibition The Manbody ran 20 April–28 May 2017. For the show he produced a new 4K digital film that focussed on a conversation between two characters occupying a luxury people carrier in an underground car park. One of the characters, wearing a camouflage jump suit, is immersed in playing a Sony Playstation VR system throughout. The female character alongside him is in dress made of long hair. Both have cartoonish and vaguely horrifying animated facial appendages, which float over their heads and obscure their mouths.

Click here to watch the full version of The Manbody. You can also explore other amazing works from Dodd’s back-catalogue.

Their conversation is derived from Plato’s Timaeus, written c. 360 BC. The original text addresses, from a hyper-masculine viewpoint, both the nature of being and base bodily functions. Dodd’s fascination with this source lies in how such an all-encompassing worldview, obsolete yet worryingly resonant, meshes together the messy details of organic matter.

Look, it’s true there’s some weird shit around. But, let’s face it the Fabricator is a good guy. And the management team, well they organised all the materials to be the same throughout.

The Manbody soundtrack is a composition of skittering trap hip hop, and the visual aesthetic borrows from uber glossy music videos and commercial promotional content. The overall effect is of a reformed reality in which many constituent parts – classical ideas, archaic language, music, animation and filmed footage – are layered and stacked into an awkward but beguiling new shape.

In the Downloads section of this page you can find the interview with curator Paul Luckraft that accompanied the exhibition, plus the full script for The Manbody film. And scroll down to the Gallery for further images of Dodd’s work.

Dodd’s work can also be seen on the Daata website. These newly-commissioned pieces include The Doctor, a six-part meditation on masculine bodily exertion, chemical energy and disorientated calm, and The Race (Sunlit Uplands) described by the artist as ‘a brief meditation on a journey. revolving toward a fictitious, undecipherable future. A disorientated empty void, obscured by damp, turgid flesh and a will to regain control. The uplands are sunny, and we're headed toward them.’

Elliot Dodd b. 1978, Jersey, Channel Islands.
Lives and works in London. Dodd holds a postgraduate diploma from the Royal Academy Schools, London, and a BA in Fine Art from the Slade School of Fine Art, London. Solo exhibitions include those at MadeIn Gallery, Shanghai (2018). Group exhibitions and screenings include those at Rhode Island College, Providence, Rhode Island (2019); Chalton Gallery, London (2019); Times Square (with Daata Editions), New York (2019); Guangzhou Airport Biennale, Guangzhou (2019); Liste Art Fair, Basel (2018); 650mAh, Hove (2018); Supernova Digital Film Festival, Denver (2018); Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin (2017); Royal Academy of Arts, London (2017); Rockelmann &, Berlin (2017); Sunday Art Fair, London (2016) and IMT Gallery, London (2016).