19 February – 15 May 2011

James Richards

James Richards

Rodeo is very happy to announce the first solo exhibition in the gallery by James Richards.

The works in the exhibition are perceived in relation to each other and are moving independently between the physical and the video space in a palindrome, a common element in Richards’ work. By the use of found material, printed matter and manufactured objects the artist is creating an installation that beautifully reflects on dualism, mirroring, self-improvement and the effects of repetition on the printed word. Untitled (The Mirror Within), is a collection of secondhand self-improvement books (The Mirror Within ‘A New Look at Sexuality’) written in 1985 by Anne Dickinson that helps the readers to re-evaluate and embrace their sexuality. The cover of the book is a golden mirror that reflects the face of the beholder as a graphic proposal on introspection. Richards has collected hundreds of those books and are pilled up in a column that stands both strong and vulnerable; the repetition of the books addressing ones self, stacked up to the height of a human.

The theme of repetition and revision is also present in Untitled, a diptych made by appropriating the pages that introduce the prefaces for the first two editions of David Bordwell and Kirstin Thompson’s, Film Art: An Introduction (1979 and 1988). The typography was then etched into crystal so as to cast a shadow of the texts on the wall behind the frame.

Pirate is a video diptych of two SONY televisions dreaming of a Toshiba. The two screens are leaning on the wall playing a short loop that mixes a flat screen advertising demo with a sunset from a nature documentary. The sequence plays, endlessly looping and continuously diving into the abyss of the plasma world. The idea of piracy on film, or of imagery in general, meets the romantic notion of pirates sailing in the horizon of the footage.

The two wall hangings, The Best of / The Worst Of are made with a set of rubber badges designed by the artist bearing the slogan ‘The Best Of / The Worst Of’ printed forwards, backwards and in different colour combinations. The badges are pinned in thousands to a pair of fabric banners, making dense color fields that both equalizes and abstract the contradictory slogan.