Sorcerer, a collaborative between British artist Ed Atkins and American poet Steven Zultanski, is a book in the form of a script/novel/manual about the pleasures of being with others and of being alone. Sorcerer was originally a play commissioned by and staged at Copenhagen's Revolver Theatre in March 2022.
'Atkins and Zultanski's play redesigns the contemporary home as a machine for comedy, sadness, and anxiety. Sorcerer is a unique work of theatre and literature, beautiful and unsettling.' - Dan Fox; 'With Sorcerer, Ed Atkins and Steve Zultanski invite us 'round for an evening of conversational bricolage, word games, and mild social debarment (with grapes). We are privy to the trivial crosscut with the vital; we submit to compression fetish and sulphuric mythology; we ruminate on the merits of facial deconstruction, and most crucially of all, we are reminded once again about the awful sad joy of humanness and what it means to be alone.' - Graham Lambkin; 'Vivid on the page, Sorcerer is a surprising and compelling hallucinatory theatre text for a cast of three. In it a set of hyper-naturalistic micro-conversations are laid out in an unblinking deadpan; crisp dialogues that focus in on the body, mapping the detail of daily actions and experiences from the removal of clothing, to the acquisition of new skills, and the precise interior feeling of headaches. Atkins & Zultanski have made the score for a complex, haunting event.' - Tim Etchells; 'Sorcerer is the emphatic magic of lived-time actions. This is a dialogue between the object body and other objects, so distended and loud as to be near silent. Where each action held might also begin to corrupt, or stain, pulling too hard, tuning in and tearing out. A politics of who we are in how we are, learnt, programmed, actioned and acted.' - Ghislaine Leung; 'In this ingenious work, Zultanski and Atkins innovatively deploy both material and human gesture to paint a sad yet almost comic scenario of contemporaneity. A group of friends conduct inane conversation about subjects like how to take off your pants (with accompanying gestures), yet these people raise serious compassion in us, for they are us. Atkins and Zultanski's brand of drolly underwrought utterance show us once more that innovative device is the sine qua non of really good art.' - Gail Scott
Ed Atkins' artworks have been exhibited internationally, with major solo presentations at The New Museum, New York City; Tate Britain, London; Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; MoMA PS1; and Serpentine Gallery, London. His book Old Food was published by Fitzcarraldo in 2019, following a collection of his texts, A Primer for Cadavers, also with Fitzcarraldo in 2016. Steven Zultanski is the author of several books of poetry, including Relief (Make Now, 2021), Bribery (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2014), and Agony (Book*hug, 2012). A critical essay, Thirty-Odd Functions of Voice in the Poetry of Alice Notley, appeared with Ugly Duckling Presse in 2020. His critical writing has appeared in Frieze, Spike Art Magazine, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and Mousse Magazine. Both Atkins and Zultanski are based in Copenhagen.