Cerith Wyn Evans --
Who exactly is Cerith Wyn Evans? Despite his quite successful and well-received contributions for Documenta 11 or the Venice Biennial, the career of the Welsh artist also evinces puzzling characteristics, has a touch of an obscure cool about it. For a long time, concrete information about the artist was only sporadically available: Evans seemed to refuse any exact identification. Somehow always already having been an artist, he’s worked for example as an assistant to Derek Jarman, at the start of his career producing music videos and avant-garde films. Only since the early 1990s did he begin to appear decidedly in an art context, with installative interventions and cool poetic arrangements, textual works using fireworks or neon. […]
In terms of form, Wyn Evans uses his technical props and material in a frugal, yet often theatrical way. Always keeping an eye on the context, he often combines light sources like lamps, neon objects, or neon writing with reflective surfaces, like mirrors or an existing window, spare furnishings, indoor palms, as well as photographs and texts in various forms combined with film projections or soundtracks/scores in precise, yet coincidental, apparently ephemeral arrangements. The fragile combinations are provocatively stimulating, their frugal elegance attracts, stimulates desire. The works only take on a clearer profile due to the arsenal of things found, appropriated, remembered fed into them on all levels. It is the variety of quotes, appearing in various ways—Morse code, sound collage, or light writing—that forms the hard core, or more the fluid of Cerith Wyn Evan’s way of working. But in so doing, it by no means assumes of a theorist or submit to any demand for discursive coherence.
[Instead, it seems that a particularly well-read aficionado or fan is here at work. Schooled equally in Guy Debord’s Situationism and the lifestyles of Brion Gysion and William Burroughs, well versed in the codes of art and the fine distinctions of subcultural dialects, Wyn Evans spins a web of useless knowledge and subjectivized-precise references. A network that draws its attraction from seeming simultaneously stringent and permeable.]
Hans-Jürgen Hafner, "Cerith Wyn Evans," in: Camera Austria International, 86 (2004), p. 83