Michael’s Theme

Kathryn Elkin (1983 - )

HD video 16:9 colour, sound

  • About the work
    Country: UK
    City: London
    Place: Government Art Collection

    Commissioned as part of the BBC project ‘Artists and the Archive’ in collaboration with Lux and Creative Scotland, Michael's Theme uses previously unbroadcast fragments from the opening and closing of several episodes in the first two series of Parkinson from the 1970s. The work explores the talk show convention of revealing the mechanisms of television-making, as well as the notion of improvisation within the 'recorded-as-live' TV format and within the repeated live renditions of the jazz theme tune in those earlier episodes.

    These excerpts and the programme’s theme tune are used to consider the relationship of a live studio audience, crew and talk show host to each other, and how their complicit relationship anticipates the audience who will watch the deferred broadcast. To date, it has been screened at Tate Modern; Tate Britain; Centre for Contemporary Art Derry~Londonderry; Centre for Contemporary Art, Glasgow; Courtisane festival, Ghent; Dazibao, Montreal; Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum; Cooper Gallery, University of Dundee; and Ryder Gallery, London.

  • About the artist
    Kathryn Elkin works predominantly in performance, video and writing, comparing the ways in which we experience art, to the ways and means it is understood culturally. A graduate of Glasgow School of Art (2005) and Goldsmiths College (2012) and former LUX Associate Artist (2013), selected exhibitions, screenings and performances include: ‘Until the Stars Turn Cold’, S1 Sheffield (2014) and Glasgow Sculpture Studios (2015); ‘Mum Listens to The Exorcist Theme While Ironing’, Transmission Gallery, Glasgow (2014), and ’30 Years of the Future’, Castlefield Gallery, Manchester (2014); ICA, London (2015); and CCA Glasgow (2016).
  • Explore
    Parkinson, Michael CBE
    Materials & Techniques
    digital video, video, QuickTime file format
  • Details
    Michael’s Theme
    One of an edition of 3, plus 1 artist's proofs
    HD video 16:9 colour, sound
    7 minutes, 47 seconds
    Purchased from the artist March 2021, through the Art XUK project 2020-21
    The artist; from whom purchased by UK Government Art Collection, 31 March 2021
    GAC number