Everything Is Lost is a new work by the artist Tim Etchells, first presented in Frieze Sculpture 2018, Regent’s Park, London, from 4 July to 7 October.
The work comprises a set of powder coated metal letters held on tensioned steel wires and supported in an aluminium frame. The letters are distributed irregularly on the wires so that the simple phrase of the works title appears in relation to the landscape, with trees, ground and horizon serving as backdrop according to the viewer’s position. Displaced and dispersed from the typical ordered sequence of writing, the letters in Etchells work form a loose constellation, enacting its content.
About Tim Etchells’ text works
Etchells’ text pieces often draw on his broader fascinations as an artist, writer and performance maker, exploring contradictory aspects of language – the speed, clarity and vividness with which it communicates narrative, image and ideas, and at the same time its amazing propensity to create a rich field of uncertainty and ambiguity.
Through simple phrases spelt out in neon, LED and other media, Etchells strives to create miniature narratives, moments of confusion, awkwardness, reflection and intimacy in public and gallery settings. Encountering the neon sign works, in the streets of a city or in the space of a white cube gallery, the viewer becomes implicated in a situation that’s not fully revealed, or a linguistic formulation that generates confusion or ambiguity. As often in Etchells’ work, in the neons the missing parts of the picture are as important as the elements that are present. Invoking a story, or projecting an idea out-of-context, the work invites us in, but into what exactly we can’t be sure.