The moving image work and installation of James Richards builds up associative and expressive connections between found materials – from low-fi reportage and online fragments, to highly wrought digital renderings – alongside material from his own archive. Here the texture, weight and feel of images and sounds are worked and reworked: a slow and precisely arbitrary process, which introduces a level of emotional charge and desire into materials and their connections.
Of Disturbance is Richards’ first solo exhibition in China, and brings together two works that closely resonate with his approach, giving insight into the artist’s process and relation with gesture, rhythm and juxtaposition. The exhibition includes his early work Untitled (Cinema Programme – an 18-minute video assemblage from 2006 that navigates a symbolic and fragmentary score of images and sounds, layered with composer Arvo Pärt’s Passus (1982) and a recording of a friend of the artist reading extracts from John Giorno’s poem Completely Attached to Delusion (1981).
The Misty Suite (2009), the second video work, steps in and out of definition; with close attention to zoom speeds, the camera takes us closer to and gradually beyond representation. The work builds an active process of reconstitution and manipulation that also pushes images and signs into a space of uncertainty: an insistence on friction and slowing down, and attentiveness to forms of knowing and feeling, working beyond the immediacy of direct communication.
In collaboration with Magician Space, the exhibition takes place in tandem with a touring event programme – a series of screenings and talks developed by Richards and Electra’s Fatima Hellberg, with works by Lutz Bacher, Julia Heyward, Wu Tsang and Richards, taking place at UCCA Beijing, OCAT Shenzhen, OCAT Xi’an and Asia Art Society, Hong Kong to coincide with Art Basel Hong Kong. Focusing on subjects such as the embodiment and relaying of material, honesty and directness, and appropriation, the presentation seeks to uncover and examine their forms in a series of still and moving images.
Of Disturbance is curated by Fatima Hellberg (Electra) and realized as apart of collaboration between Magician Space, Electra (UK), and the British Council (UK).
James Richards’ exhibition is kindly supported by British Council China