Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris

Ed AtkinsHappy Birthday !!!

The Musée d’Art moderne is pleased to present Happy Birthday !!!, an installation by Ed Atkins, in its permanent collections.

Born in 1982, Ed Atkins lives and works in London. The artist is well known for his immersive environments and association of high definition digital images and syncopated sound montages. A literature connoisseur, he writes his own scenarios, creating a world of digital illusions and fantasy sometimes verging on the grotesque.


Happy Birthday!!! is a computer-generated animation in black and white. More disturbing than its title suggests, it accords a central role to death. One also detects furtive allusions to Bruce Nauman's Self-Portrait as a Fountain(1996), Alice in Wonderland and a drawing by writer Pierre Klossowski for his book L'Adolescent immortel (1994).


The intermittently appearing numbers are like mysterious codes: impossible to say if they refer to dates, quantities or durations. Indirectly they suggest the binary code figures 1 and 0 which, like words in literature, enable the creation of entirely imaginary worlds.


This work confronts the effects of the omnipresence of the digital on our lives and memories: for example, in the long run those automatic birthday reminders entrusted to our mobile phones can only lead to disruptions.


Ed Atkin’s work was featured in “Co-workers”, an exhibition of post-Internet art shown at the museum in 2015.


Curator : Anne Dressen


  1. Alex Crouwers @acrwrs

    8/x Ribbons by Ad Atkins I actually also totally recommend watching this short portrait on #edatkins (…

  2. ArtDaily, The First Art Newspaper on the Net @artdaily

    Ed Atkins and his mum are starring in a museum show #EdAtkins #museum #show #art #newspaper Read more about this h…

  3. 123art @123art7

    RT @HenriNiotou: #EdAtkins and His Mum Are Starring in a Museum Show by @jsf “Ed Atkins: Get Life/Love’s Work” @new