Elixir I

custom frame: 24.75 x 15.75 x 3.25" / 62.9 x 40 x 8.3 cm

The "Elixir" pieces describe impossible landscapes: cut-crystal bottles bob and toss like buoys in the ocean, beacons bearing potions, poisons, messages, genies. Each bottle contains an animated figure engaged in a repeated, metronomic action. In "Elixir I", a woman is rowing; "Elixir II", a blindfolded man stumbles to stay upright. "Elixir III" holds a little girl trying to fly with paper wings; and in "Elixir IV", a high diver twists and arcs, while the bottle presses forward in an Antarctic landscape. The highly layered video treatment pays tribute to the 19th century Russian painter Ivan Aivazovsky, whose portentous, luminous paintings of tiny ships on huge swells of ocean both mesmerize and terrify the viewer.

“Zurkow plays with motion and fixity, the graticule projecting from its enlightenment centering and creating, drawing out and forth a landscape that never has existed quite: but that may now be describing a new polar circumferencing. And the possibilities of this landscape are also internal, or not seen on official maps.”
– Elena Glasberg, notes from The Anthropogenic Landscape and Feminist Art Practice

About Marina Zurkow

New media artist Marina Zurkow creates research-based animated films that explore the subject of human relations with animals, plants, weather, and the media cultures that develop around these themes. “My work is about the networked stories we tell ourselves about our place in the larger world, the interwoven and often conflicted threads of this, and how these are represented in mediated form,” Zurkow says. In response to online viewing behaviors—particularly the short attention spans of online audiences—Zurkow makes layered psychological narratives that have neither continuous thread, nor beginning or end. Zurkow creates many of the images used in her films by hand, as in Mesocosm (Northumberland UK) (2011), a 146-hour film about a yearlong cycle of life in the moors of northern England, involving weather phenomena and a cast of 150 characters—an investigation of the nature of human relationships with changing landscapes.

American, b. 1962, New York, New York, based in Brooklyn, New York

Solo Shows on Artsy

2013
Marina Zurkow: Necrocracy, bitforms gallery

Group Shows on Artsy

2016
2012
World on a Wire, bitforms gallery