Jenkin van Zyl

Couples Remaining/ Hours Elapsed

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Year 2023
Medium Graphite on paper, toploader sleeve, holographic stickers
Dimensions 40.4 x 22.5

About the work

Couples remaining/ Hours Elapsed arises from the world-building of van Zyl’s recent film project and installation, Surrender. Drawing inspiration from the dance marathons of the 1930s Great Depression, Surrender follows the experience of GRACE, depicted in this drawing and who’s a visitor to the Paradise Engineering Endurance Partnership (P.E.E.P.) Hotel.

In an America obsessed with the idea of public endurance, these dance marathons were long-form pageants of fatigue wherein couples would dance near-non-stop for weeks on end: If one half of a couple failed to adhere to strict competition rules and stopped moving, both contestants would be eliminated. Here GRACE is depicted in a state of strange grace and despair in the late stages of the marathon, clutching her ambiguously grinning trophy.

Career Highlights

His work has been profiled in Frieze, Vogue, The Guardian, Artforum, Art Monthly, The White Review, Dazed and Confused and ID magazine.

Jenkin van Zyl’s presentations include:

Surrender, FACT, Liverpool, UK (2023);

Edel Assanti, London, UK (2023);

Vore, Rose Easton, London, UK (2023);

Machines of Love, Tramway, Scotland, UK and Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK (2021).

Selected group presentations include:

The Horror Show, Somerset House, London, UK (2022) and Barbe a Papa, CAPC, Bordeaux, France (2022);

Looners, The Hayward Gallery, London, UK (2019).


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