Sunday, 17 February 2013

The Beheading

Photo: Paul Martin

SB: So are we starting?

RI: yes

SB: Might as well. Who is the MC?

RI: You

SB: Ok. So, my name is Steven. This is Riccardo. I’m just setting my mic level.

[ Steven pinches his nose and adjusts his cap]

So this is what has been billed as the gallery talk for Riccardo’s This Orientation show. Does anybody have any questions?

SB: So. If there aren’t any questions, thank you for coming...


SB: One question I had, which would be a way of kicking off this idea of doing a talk, is about the relationship of your film and video practice to this installation, if we can call it an installation.

RI: We need more light!

SB: There’s a light over there. You just turn that round.

A: How did you get on to the website?

SB: Yes. this is online now. We are streaming now. If you go to it will be streaming on there as well.

A: Come on Wembley!

SB: So, your film and video practice and this space, I think there’s a kind of discontinuity.

RI: Actually, I think the place to start is over there [by the window]

SB: Okay.

A: Lets start over here.

RI: Over there.

SB: shall I ask the question again?

RI: ask the question again, I’ll go and get the computer.

SB: I’ll wait for the computer

A: Put it on the fridge.

RI: Ok. I’ll put it on the fridge. Okay, so I’ll start here.


When I first came to the gallery I was struck by the view.

[Riccardo opens window blind].

Look at that light!

So, I wanted to make a piece of work that you could only see from this window. So the gallery would be empty and you’d have to come to the gallery and look through this window to see it outside. I was also interested in this surface (the window), this transparent plane, which for me was a bit like film, celluloid. My early works were actually painted onto clear film and the abstract film that is on that monitor down there, SKZCP (1997/2000 looped edition), was created by painting directly onto 16mm film.


SB: So we are getting around to the idea of the relationship between the pane of glass is taking the place of the film strip.

Video: Paul Martin

RI: Yes, so this whole space becomes a kind of film space, an event space. Basically, I wanted to make a cameraless film, I was actually interested in making a cameraless film and when I first started painting on to film i didn’t use a camera, but the abstract film that is showing over there. If we go back to there, you can see. that’s one of my early works made in the early 90’s and it looks like its got a dark background but its actually painted onto completely clear film, just like that window, and it involves lighting from different angles. so that it captures the textural qualities of the film and it makes the background look opaque. So I suppose I was trying to emulate those qualities with this window. 

But also, that film there requires the use of a camera. It couldn’t exist without the use of a camera. So it’s a composition for camera.

SB: That’s something you were saying last time that I was here, that you’d been arranging the objects in the space to photograph them, and so actually, a visit to the space is not necessarily visiting a space that can be viewed within the space that it’s in but is primarily for the view of the camera. Is that still the case or have you since moved things around?

RI: I think it can be viewed in lots of different ways, with the naked eye, with a camera, with a photograph, with conversation actually. In the  opening of the exhibition I was still hanging the show and people at the opening were actually helping me put things up. It was an event and creative process that involved other people, sharing and feedback.

SB: But the entire show has been like that.. It’s continued to change.

RI: Its ended up pretty much as it started really.

SB: Well, no. I don’t think so. It’s quite different to the opening. There’s a lot more in here.


RI: The starting point is when you come through the door, or its when you actually read the press release and you get guided to a venue, to a place.

SB: Yes, but there are also other ways, like the website or the blog could be a starting point as well, because often it’s the way things are disseminated if you like, via the blog and then they come back here. I mean, I noticed the way that we’ve been working on the blog things have become kind of manipulated and changed and re-ordered and edited, just in that space, if it is a space, as much as they have in here.

So I see it as a completely dynamic environment, not just the environment of the room, but the environment the show projects itself into outside of the room. Also, I find it interesting the way that the immediate surrounding area finds its way into the space, with the tyres and the photographs of the view from out there and various other things. So there’s this kind of continual spillover from one space to the other.

Guy Sherwin (GS): Can I just say something?

SB: Please do.

GS: I’ve just got a message from Lynn (Lynn Loo) that she can see your back. She’s in Singapore.

SB: Shall we say hello to Lynn in Singapore?

RI: Hi Lynn! It’s funny waving at an Italian landscape when in fact you are actually looking at somebody in Singapore; waving through the train window passing through an Italian landscape filmed two years ago..

A: That’s so strange!

SB: It’s nice to know that the show is now in Singapore, as well as..

A: Italy

SB: As well as here.

Photo: Paul Martin

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