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This summer at Kunstnernes Hus ☀️
Open today 11-17 (Restaurant 11-22)

James Richards

Our Friends in the Audience
2024 04 KH James Richards Web Res Tor S Ulstein Kunstdok1

James Richards’ installation Our Friends in the Audience spans Kunstnernes Hus’ cinema and lower gallery. The exhibition extends his exploration of how we navigate and are shaped by images, ongoing since the early 2010s.

About the exhibition

James Richards' works stem from a vast and ever-expanding archive of images and sounds, both borrowed and self-generated, which are pieced together into sensual, humorous, and dystopian collages of human behaviour. He not only blurs separations between media and disciplines but also organises film screenings, live events and exhibitions - often building long-term collaborations with other artists.

Our Friends in the Audience explores the boundaries of both cinematic and exhibition formats. In the cinema, a space traditionally associated with collective experiences of a fixed duration, solitary experiences are enabled just as visitors are allowed to walk in and out as they please. The program consists of new material produced on site as well as three older videos. The adjacent gallery is turned into a more procedural and social site. It is made collectively and with a film and performance event on the opening night that deposits traces of an assembly in the remaining installation. Through these explorations of different aesthetic spaces, the exhibition speaks to our needs for connecting as well as for meditative contemplation. Or – in the artist’s own words – it investigates what happens when we lean into our desires and find the porous line between inside and outside, self and other, the body and the world.

Photo collages made in collaboration with Tolia Astakhishvili. Live event organized with anorak. Live performance by Alexey Kokhanov. Additional sound design by Max Bloching.

Curated by Silja Espolin Johnson as part of Kunstnernes Hus' new initiative linking moving images across cinema and exhibition spaces, which is supported by Fritt Ord and Sparebankstiftelsen DNB.

About the film program

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Photo: Tor S. Ulstein/Kunstdok

About the artist

James Richards was born in 1983 in Cardiff, Wales, and is based in Berlin. His practice includes film, music, and curatorial projects. Richards has had broad international exposure both in the art world and at art film festivals over the past decade. He was part of Fondazione In Between Art Films' exhibition Penumbra in conjunction with the 59th Venice Biennale, and recent solo exhibitions include Workers in Song (with Billy Bultheel) at Wiels, Brussels (2023), Internal Litter at Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin (2022); When We Were Monsters at Haus Mödrath - Räume für Kunst, Kerpen (2021-2022); Alms for the Birds at Castello Di Rivoli, Torino (2020); SPEED 1 and SPEED 2 with Leslie Thornton at Malmö Konsthall and Künstlerhaus Stuttgart (2019). Richards was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 2014. In 2017 he represented Wales at the 57th Venice Biennale and recently he was awarded the prestigious Preis der Nationalgalerie 2024.

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James Richards. Photo: Victor Luque

See also