A New Line

25 January - 17 February 2008

Selected Works

Chicks On Speed, Sewing Machine, 2007, video, 3 min 23 sec
Chicks On Speed, Visitors, 2004, video, 26 min 11 sec

Press Release

A NEW LINE – a selection of films by Chicks On Speed
Chicks on Speed’s video work explores different aspects of fashion
and subjectivity. The group look at clothing as performance,
dressing-up and dressing down as daily rituals. Working within and
against a tradition of feminist video art, Chicks on Speed
simultaneously carry forward the political challenge set down by
the movement and lovingly parody the genre.
The language of feminist critique was adopted by the politically
correct art world long ago, but the inequalities it tackled
remained. Taking for granted the impossibility of subverting the
respectability of hegemonic art institutions, Chicks on Speed
replace any futile didacticism with a playful approach to
improvised performance. In Visitors they appropriate this discourse
from the perspective of extra-terrestrial linguists, mimicking each
other, their audience and their antecedents as much to learn as to
teach. A New York street crowd is confronted with multi-coloured
aliens straight out of Liquid Sky, colonising mundane scenarios
with their gesture dance. Meanwhile in Sewing Machine, a
biomechanical study of domestic chores becomes a Kraftwerk style
stage routine.
Deliberately blurring the borders between performance and visual
art, music, theatre and fashion, Chicks on Speed have consistently
avoided categorization. Neither an ‘art band’ nor an artistic
experiment in pop, but simply an exciting, confusing, challenging
mish-mash of styles, ideas and practices, their work fuses gallery
based installations with pop and live and recorded music with
visual art. More a ‘way’ of doing things than a group or a place
like Warhol’s Factory, the day glo universe of the Chicks continues
to expand into new territories.
The Chicks On Speed started in Munich in 1997 as an all girl visual
art and performance ensemble and band that produce music on their
own record label. They have toured live throughout the world and in
venues such as MoMA New York in 2006, Pompidou Centre, Paris in
2007 and performed at the Turner Prize at Tate Britain in 2007.
Recent solo exhibitions include: Chicks on Speed; It’s a Project,
Deitch Projects New York, 2004; Atelier COS, Kunstverein Wolfsburg,
2004; It’s not what you think, it’s the way you look, Kunstraum
Innsbruck, 2005; Shoe Fuck!, CAC Vilnius, 2007 and Art Rules!,
Yvonne Lambert, Paris, 2007.
They are: Kathi Glas (born Germany, 1977, lives and works in
Berlin), Melissa Logan (born USA, 1970, lives and works in Hamburg
and New York), Alex Murray-Leslie (born Australia, 1970, lives and
works in Barcelona), Anat Ben-David (born Israel, 1970, lives and
works in London) and A.L. Steiner (born USA, 1967, lives and works
in New York). They have frequently collaborated with other artists,
fashion designers, musicians and filmmakers such as Jean Charles de
Castelbajac, Douglas Gordon, Karl Lagerfeld, Peaches, Jeremy Scott
and Deborah Shamoni.  
In 2004 they released the publication Chicks on Speed: It’s A
Project on Booth-Clibborn Editions.  
Their single ART RULES! -in collaboration with Christopher Just and
Douglas Gordon- will be released on 31 January 2008 on Chicks on
Speed Records, followed by their 6th full-length album on 31 May.  
For more information please contact Fabio Altamura on 020 8981 9100
or fabio[ATSIGN]

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