The practice of James Richards (born in Cardiff, 1983, currently residing in Berlin and London) transcends the usual constraints of film and video projection by accumulating imagery in a manner that resists completion. Rather, the material of video is treated as a resource for constant manipulation, and the ‘work’ emerges through the act of continual reconstitution.
Richards also shifts the form of presentation of his material by moving between formats associated with the public realm – the screening, or the live VJ mix – and the suggestively private and devotional form of the mixtape.
Re-mixing can explore the possibility of repetition and distortion, and can also respond to external factors such as the beat of music or the rhythm of a superimposed narrative. The archive is constituted by a wealth of media imagery, and can speak of multiple possibilities, but also of the obsessive impulse to collate.
Richards’ interest lies in the possibility of the personal amidst this media morass, as well as in the scratch form as a means of layering previous intentions, narratives and recordings, and of returning images to the world. For the viewer the sources – which span internet streams, television, online clips, other artists’ films, classic features and original footage – are buried and obscure, but the continually reassembled sequences build on themes of desire and obsession, using the friction between the deconstructed image and untouched footage.
Richard’s studied Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art & Design, London, and recent solo exhibitions include Requests and Antisongs, ICA London (2016) Crossing, with Leslie Thornton, Rodeo, London (2016) Crumb Mahogany Bergen Kunsthall, 2016; Radio At Night Museum of Contemporary Art Bordeaux, (2016); James Richards, Kunstverein München, Munich (2015); Raking Light, Cabinet, London (2014); The Screens, Rodeo, Istanbul (2013); and Chisenhale, London (2011).
Recent group exhibitions: British Art Show 8, touring exhibtion uk (2015/16), Saltwater: A Theory of Thought Forms, 14th Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul (2015); Speculations On Anonymous Materials, Fridericianum, Kassel (2013); The Encyclopedic Palace, 55th Venice Biennale (2013); Frozen Lakes, Artists Space, New York; and Nought to Sixty, ICA, London (2008).
Richards was a recipient of the 2014 Ars Viva Prize for young artists and received the 2012 Jarman award for film and video. In 2013-14 he was in residency with the DAAD Berlin and in 2014, Richards was nominated for the Tate’s Turner Prize.
He was selected to represent Cymru yn Fenis Wales in Venice 2017 with the exhibition Music for the Gift.