Still from a film - a man has both his hands against his head, smiling and gazing off to the side of the camera

Still from Why La Bamba? courtesy of Kathryn Elkin.

Kathryn Elkin: Online Screening and Zoom Q&A

Queen (2019), Why La Bamba (2015) & Dame 2 (2016)

Screening 17th – 23th August, free and available to watch on our website.

Zoom Q&A Thursday 20th August, 6.30pm. Free but booking essential.

Rhubaba is delighted to present Queen (2019), Why La Bamba (2015) & Dame 2 (2016) by Kathryn Elkin that will be available to watch on our website from Monday the 17th of August for a week. Kathryn works predominantly with performance and video, exploring role-playing and improvising, alongside experiments with the outtake and clowning on set. She has an ongoing interest in shared cultural memory (as produced by popular music, television and cinema) and the melding of this information to biographical memory. Over the past year Kathryn has been working closely with the Rhubaba Choir on a new commission that has unfolded during the period of lockdown and will continue to form and develop over the coming months.

To book a free place in the Zoom discussion please email by the 19th August and we will send you the link.

More Information

Kathryn Elkin (b. 1983, Belfast) is a visual artist, specialising in moving image and performance. Her work centres on the commodity of the singular identity of the artist as situated within the trappings of productive, reproductive and artistic labour. In Queen, bodily labour, performance, leisure and domestic work are drawn into comparison via an irreverent musical memoir. Dame 2 recreates an interview on Parkinson with Helen Mirren from 1975, transcribed and performed as a song by Elkin. She is backed by a choir of associates and friends she corrals into chanting in loose harmony. The work explores the notion of improvisation and power-balance within the recorded-as-live TV format, and re-cites/recites this particular interview, which is so often referenced as an example of historic sexism.The work was originally a performance in 2013, and was repurposed as a video in 2016 for the exhibition Television at CCA Glasgow. In Why La Bamba, the musician John McKeown is fed lines by Elkin from a Dustin Hoffman interview from 1975. The work is a meditation on roleplaying, performance, improvisation and the talk show – all common themes within Elkin’s practice. The formal transactions within the convention of the talk-show of image-making and influence are reworked and abstracted, as McKeown and Elkin joke their way through the process. The work is scored by McKeown’s take on La Bamba, which was selected by Hoffman on Desert Island Discs in 2012. He related that he used to skip to the song on film sets between takes to ‘stay loose’.

Elkin has made solo presentations at CCA Glasgow, Collective Gallery and Dazibao in Montreal and has screened work and performed/spoken at Tate Britain, Tate Modern and ICA. She has screened work internationally at film festivals, representing the UK at Oberhausen and Visions Du Reél within the last 3 years and won Special Mention and Young Critics awards this year at Punto de Vista festival, Pamplona. Her videos are distributed by Lux.

The Rhubaba Choir provides the opportunity for individuals to sing together in a welcoming, eclectic group and share singing experiences. We welcome anyone who wants to lend their voice, regardless of prior musical experience. We mostly work by ear, rather than from sheet music, songs are sung in simple harmonies and embrace the joys of singing! Past projects include collaborations with artists Tessa Lynch, Sion Parkinson, Serena Korda and Richy Carey, amongst others.