Steve Reinke never shrinks from exploring fears and desires, and ’Everybody’ is no exception. The video is disconcertingly simple, consisting of a number of crudely drawn animals, roughly and luridly coloured. As these animals move their mouths, voice-overs speak of bodily fluids, pain and disgust in a matter-of-fact manner, the strange made ordinary by the vocal performances. Exploring humiliation, shame and discomfort in one’s own body, this video raises crucial contemporary issues ranging from cosmetic surgery to suicide. Self-disgust and the importance of the external gaze conflict with the stylised animals depicted. The accompanying music draws a connection – or reveals a conflict? – between idealised ’primitivism’, embodied in the disphonic music and pan-pipes, and modern hypersexualised youth culture, represented by elements of dance and pop music. The soundtrack refuses to fit into a genre, but ends on a Modernist note reminiscent of Stravinsky. The drawings themselves are roughly sketched, disproportionately sized and include some suggestive additions, such as the unicorn horn between the doe’s ears. Concluding with an injunction in German for applause, the video suggests at an ambivalent reception and miscommunication generated by langage differences and intermediaries. As with his previous work, Reinke forces a confrontation with the less palatable inner fears and desires which form a part of collective imagination.

Everybody, 2009, Steve Reinke and Jessie Mott © the artistsEverybody, 2009, Steve Reinke and Jessie Mott © the artistsEverybody, 2009, Steve Reinke and Jessie Mott © the artists