There are certain moments created by artists where it becomes apparent that they have completed a period and are ready to shift up a gear; challenging themselves, challenging audiences and challenging the body of work that they have already produced. Filmmaker Max Hattler produced in 2010 a piece called Spin. This Busby Berkeley-style dance routine played out by plastic toy soldiers seemed to instigate a slight change in working practice, and he presents his latest work, open now, at Tenderpixel.
This new installation of three moving image works is entitled (appropriately enough) SHIFT. Commissioned between Animate Projects and Channel 4, the work is the latest in a series of co-productions between the two organisations, in a strand called Random Acts, bringing the work of film and video artists to terrestrial broadcast television.
SHIFT is a very strong work. The three minute animation exhibits influences as disparate as modernist abstraction to industrialisation and German Expressionism. The effect is jarring, and in the Tenderpixel basement a fitting mausoleum for sci-fi exploits played out under factory-esque, conveyor-belt conditions. Hattler's work has always been exuberant and anticipatory; SHIFT presents an abstract apocalypse, hearkening back to the fears of the modern age. It's beautiful, and it's scary, and it's utterly engrossing.
Max Hattler: SHIFT is at Tenderpixel until 28 April.