Series of four works
(4) 5:00 minute loops
Editions of 7
Animation, sound/silent
Format: Dimensions variable; custom framed 24" monitor with MPlayer, or MPlayer only for 1920x1080 projection or monitor
Sound for installation versions by Pat Irwin


Elixir I - IV (production stills - click to enlarge)


Installation views from Bryce Wolkoitz Gallery, New York, 2009


Installation views of Elixir I and IV, Feldman Gallery, Portland Oregon, 2009

ELIXIR I - IV (2 minute excerpts - click to launch in new window)

ELIXIR I - IV master soundtrack



The Elixir pieces describe impossible landscapes: cut-crystal bottles bob and toss like buoys in the ocean, beacons bearing potions, poisons, messages, genies. Each bottle contains an animated figure engaged in a repeated, metronomic action. In Elixir I, a woman is rowing; Elixir II, a blindfolded man stumbles to stay upright. Elixir III holds a little girl trying to fly with paper wings; and in Elixir IV, a high diver twists and arcs, while the bottle presses forward in an Antarctic landscape. The highly layered video treatment pays tribute to the 19th century Russian painter Ivan Aivazovsky, whose portentous, luminous paintings of tiny ships on huge swells of ocean both mesmerize and terrify the viewer.

“Zurkow plays with motion and fixity, the graticule projecting from its enlightenment centering and creating, drawing out and forth a landscape that never has existed quite: but that may now be describing a new polar circumferencing. And the possibilities of this landscape are also internal, or not seen on official maps.”
– Elena Glasberg, notes from The Anthropogenic Landscape and Feminist Art Practice

Exhibition History

2009: Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, New York
2009: Feldman Gallery, Portland, Oregon
2009: 798 Biennale, Beijing, China
2010:Watch This!, Smithsonian American Art Museum
2010: Bennington College, Usdan Gallery
2010: Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco, California
2010: gray)(area, Korcula, Croatia
2010: Motion Canvas, Lithium Project, Naples, Italy
2011: The Nature of Chaos, Big Screen Project, New York


Smithsonian American Art Museum
Beth Rudin DeWoody
Borusan Art Collection