February 26, 2016 - Bergen Kunsthall - James Richards: Crumb Mahogany
February 26, 2016

Bergen Kunsthall

Images courtesy of the artist.

James Richards
Crumb Mahogany
February 26–April 3, 2016

Platform: Dan Fox on James Richards: March 11, 7pm
James Richards in conversation with Martin Clark: April 2, 2pm

Bergen Kunsthall
Rasmus Meyers allé 5
5015 Bergen
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–5pm,
Thursday 11am–8pm

T +47 940 15 050


James Richards works across moving image, sound and installation to create complex, multilayered works of extraordinary intensity. Combining video and audio that he shoots or records himself, with found material salvaged from a variety of sources, he explores the often latent, emotive power of images and sound.

For his exhibition at Bergen Kunsthall, Richards is making a newly commissioned work that will occupy all of the Kunsthall galleries. Rather than working in a single or multi-screen format, Richard’s will, for the first time, create an installation that is "smeared and spread across multiple rooms." Composing the work in space as well as time, the images and soundtrack will be separated out and installed across the rooms, implicating the viewers and their own movements, as well as allowing for repetitions, déjà vu, and displaced juxtapositions—a kind of "chiming" across the variously dispersed elements of the work, as well as between the galleries themselves. 

Richards builds his works up intuitively, invariably starting from disparate fragments or streams of footage. Treating these various recordings as a raw material, his work might be seen as an ongoing investigation into the processes and creative potential of re-staging or re-showing content. Often his works involve a repetitive or cyclical structure, with passages of video or sound reappearing and folding back into a number of different works. Richards has spoken about the potential for creating mood, emotion or meaning through the sequencing and juxtaposition of video and audio:

“I want to assemble things that push and pull ones feelings, rather than sticking to single points or statements. Moving from high drama to the erotic, from the violent to the banal, it’s the specifics of these sensations that I’m trying to tap, while working very precisely with the shifts and interruptions, climaxes and anticlimaxes, as well as the confusions and resolutions that can occur when disparate elements convene over time."

Employing rhythmic musical and visual cues, as well as bespoke fabric room-dividers, the work will comprise a complex, choreographed composition of sound, music and video, articulated and arranged in direct response to the architecture itself. Its origins are in a series of recordings made with different singers over 2015. Melodies, vowels, overtones and utterances are splintered and mixed in the studio and then recomposed across the galleries through 16 loudspeakers, punctuated by a series of abstract video works.

Crumb Mahogany is co-commissioned by Bergen Kunsthall, ICA London and Kestnergesellschaft, Hannover, where it will travel through 2016. In each of the institutions it will be reconfigured and adapted for the particular architectural environment of the galleries.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a new publication launched in autumn 2016.

James Richards (b. 1983) is a British artist based in Berlin.

Bergen Kunsthall
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Crumb Mahogany
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