No, really—the sky is falling!

This week we continue to feature Kelly Richardson’s work in conjunction with Kelly Richardson: Legion, a major mid-career survey exhibition that takes an extensive look at Richardson’s audio-visual installation works of the past fifteen years. So far we have made our way through works created between 1998 and 2005—and now for something completely different.

In many of her previous works, Richardson used humor as an entry point for the viewer. In 2006, she began to rethink this approach, deciding that it was too specific and, in her own words, “there was a risk that viewers may not get beyond the joke, which was integral to the work.” Filmed in the Lake District in England on Derwentwater between the very early hours of 4:30 and 5:30 am, Exiles of the Shattered Star, 2006, is the first work in which Richardson decidedly used beauty and The Sublime to peak interest from the viewer. Aside from this shift in thematic content, the work also represents another shift in Richardson’s working practice. She manipulated the video pixel by pixel, for the first time maintaining complete control over the aesthetics of the work, which enabled her to manipulate its mood and ambiance. For example, the setting Richardson filmed, and the resulting footage, was actually much brighter than it appears in the final presentation—to get the end result, the artist color-graded the sky so that it replicates a twilight scape.

According to Richardson, Exiles also touches upon numerous themes and interests she continues to explore, such as multiple realities and the shift toward an increasingly digitalized world; the conditional status of modern culture in relation to a natural world and the environment that supports it; contemporary cinema and a recent host of films that depict apocalyptic and end-of-the-world storylines, which she feels “describes a certain collective anxiety towards a very uncertain future”; and, above all, the psychological landscape—which is produced by a culmination of these themes—where the viewer is the sole character.

Next up: Dreams of nature and nocturne.

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    Kelly Richardson was the guest on the second segment of last week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast. Listen via Soundcloud....
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