Atlas Variations: The Moving Image Works of Charlie Atlas at Anthology Film Archives

Anthology Film Archives
32 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003
May 8th-June 27th, 2024

Buy tickets on Anthology's website.

Anthology Film Archives and EAI are thrilled to co-present a major survey of the moving-image work of Charles Atlas, an indelible figure in EAI’s collection. An exceptionally prolific, protean, and inventive artist, Atlas has collaborated for over fifty years with an extraordinary array of choreographers, dancers, musicians, actors, and performance artists, and has himself occupied a crucial role at the intersection of the worlds of art, film, video, performance, dance, and installation. Atlas has worked as a chronicler, collaborator, and creator within the nightlife and performance scenes of New York since the 1970s, documenting historic venues such as The Pyramid Club, and prominent figures including DANCENOISE, Happy Phace, and Lady Miss Kier. A foundational innovator of the video-dance genre, the artist's work is animated by inventive pastiches of narrative and fictional modes playfully merged with performance documentary. Typified by a provocative, postmodern performance sensibility and an ironic urban insouciance, Atlas' works transform performances into vivid time capsules of contemporary culture.

Complementing a partial retrospective of Atlas’ collaborations with Merce Cunningham held at Anthology in 2019, the 10-program series will highlight Atlas’ other collaborations and solo work, paring some of his best-known videos, such as The Legend of Leigh Bowery (2002), Hail the New Puritan (1985-86), and Superhoney (1994), with more rarely-screened pieces, including the “Martha” Tapes (1997-99), early films Mayonnaise #1 (1973), and Nevada (1974), his ad campaign for Calvin Klein (2015), and his stereoscopic film Tesseract 3D (2017). Atlas will appear in-person for the program.