Film Still
Film Still
Film Still
Film Still

ICA

James Richards

Requests and Antisongs

21 September-13 November 2016

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Absolutely loved this exhibition. I have been struggling to see how video and sound installations can be used well and move me as an audience member. Well this artist James Richards set me on the path of enlightenment. The montage video with sound upstairs had a very meditative affect on me. It was in black and white with collaged images delicately framed in a multitude of ways. There were a combination of seemingly disparate still and moving images of human flesh, animal flesh, and eyelashes. A subtle movement of the eyes, which contrasted well with the still images and gave the feeling that there was life present. I was simultaneously mesmerized and calmed. The room across the hall housed screens with moving still collaged abstract images. The images contained juxtaposed textures and I found the overall compositions elegant. The images flowed on and off screen like a hodgepodge of sumptuous imagery. The sound piece downstairs was the pace de resistance. I sat there again mesmerized by the compilation of sounds he carefully orchestrated for us to experience. I was in heaven. The only downside for me in that space would be that he could have paid more attention to the uncomfortable seating in the sound installation. I would have liked there to be floor seating to lay back and fully absorb the sounds. In an interview he spoke about his practice in video and sound installation and the myriad of ways you can compile sounds and images and likened what he does to abstract sculpture.

Jacquelyn Hodges

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