Collective Gallery, Edinburgh March 29-May 11 Kathryn Elkin doesn't want to say too much about 'Mutatis Mutandis', her new video installation that forms part of Edinburgh's Collective Gallery's Satellites programme. She doesn't want to give too much away, the Belfast-born purveyor of performance, video and text-based work says inbetween rummaging through the BBC archives as one of six Scotland-based artists given access to such a treasure trove of sound and vision with a view to creating new work from it. That Elkin has the time to explore such a major undertaking may in part be down to the fact that 'Mutatis Mutandis' is a stand-alone work that doesn't require her physical presence. “It's the first time I've really had to do a straight-forward exhibition,” says. Elkin, who, as well as her own film and performance work, has presented and curated her own events at CCA in Glasgow and elsewhere. “I'm not going to do any live work, but neither is it a film documenting a performance. Performance can be very fragile. It's all to do with how you connect with somebody or not.” Far from being evasive, Elkin is effusive about Mutatis Mutandis', peppering her conversation with references that include composer Eric Satie, novelist Philip Roth, radical psycho-analyst Theodore Reik and recently deceased avant-garde theatre and opera composer Robert Ashley.
“Reich wrote about female masochism,”Elkin explains, “and the differences between male and female masochism, so in a way the film is trying to un-binarise things we normally think of as binary. I like awkward things. I like things that are half one way, half the other, but it's good too to have someone put your hand behind your back and make you do things a certain way. I suppose in that way I'm a female masochist.”
The List, March 2014