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A.K. Burns
Untitled (eclipse) 

A.K. Burns – Untitled (eclipse) 

Untitled (eclipse) by New York-based artist A.K. Burns was filmed in Nebraska, USA and engages with the passage and cycle of our nearest star, the sun. In this silent film, images of a gradually eclipsing sun are superimposed onto views of the sweeping, bleached desert landscape as we witness a total solar eclipse. 

Burns captured this natural phenomenon using the analog format of 16mm film to record traces of sunlight onto its photosensitive surface. In the foreground of the image, Burns’ camera records the movement of Yucca plants and grasses shaking in the wind. As the moon slowly eclipses the sun, and midday momentarily becomes midnight, the changing luminosity of the sun shifts our attention and we become aware of the materiality of the film and its distinctive grain, texture and luminosity.  

Untitled (eclipse) is a subtle yet deeply atmospheric work that engages with the Perth Festival 2024 theme of Ngaangk. Ngaangk refers to sun and mother in the language of the Noongar people, the traditional custodians of the land on which the city of Perth now stands. Untitled (eclipse) presents the passage of the sun at a rare and transitory moment, heightening our awareness that the world around us is in constant flux. 

About the Artist

A.K. Burns is an interdisciplinary artist and Associate Professor in the Department of Art at Hunter College, City University of New York. Using video, audio, responsive environments, sculpture, writing and collaboration, Burns troubles notions of value embodied at the nexus of language and materiality.   

Burns is currently a 2023 Berlin Prize Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin. Recent exhibitions include a major survey at Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio (2023). Burns has presented solo exhibitions at Harvard Art Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts (2018) and the New Museum, New York (2017). 


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Image: A.K. Burns, Untitled (eclipse) (still), 2019, 16 mm film transferred to video, 13’, colour, no sound, courtesy of the artist and Michel Rein Gallery, Paris/Brussels.