ICA, London

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James Richards
Requests and Antisongs


Edited by Mason Leaver-Yap, James Richards
Contributions by Ed Atkins, Dan Fox, Fatima Hellberg, Chris McCormack, Steve Reinke

Requests and Antisongs is an artist’s book to accompany a sequence of exhibitions by James Richards held at Bergen Kunsthall, Norway; Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; and the Kestner Gesellschaft, Hanover. The book contains a series of visual essays by the artist, documentation of recent exhibitions, as well as essays by Dan Fox, Ed Atkins, Steve Reinke, Chris McCormack, and Fatima Hellberg.

In Richards’s work, images and sounds are merged into highly affective videos that combine footage from a wide range of sources to form elegant compositions. His recent projects separate these elements out again, allowing space for multichannel audio installations that combine sound in a way that is physical and spatial. The video works convene materials according to the silent rhythms and movements of the footage they contain—footage from newscasts, medical documentaries, and French erotica as well as the institutions’ own archives of video documentation—composing a lyrical meditation on the body as a site for the flow of material and sensation.

This book, the most significant publication on Richards’s work to date, is an extension of the shows, transposing the strategies of his exhibition making into the rhythm of printed matter. The artist has developed a new series of collages specially for the book, comprising promiscuous relations and dissonant juxtapositions between photographic documentation of the works in the exhibitions, the artist’s personal photographs, and found images.

Copublished with Bergen Kunsthall; Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; Kestner Gesellschaft, Hannover

Design by HIT, Berlin

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James Richards - Requests and Antisongs
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Institute Of Contemporary Arts, London 1946-1968

This publication is dedicated to the first two decades of the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London, presenting a thorough history of the organisation’s roots in post-war Britain, its mission of providing a physical base for the avant-garde, and its laying the groundwork for a continuing contribution to the evolution of contemporary art. Anne Massey’s account is comprehensive in its scope, emphasising the ICA’s being openly fluid and responsive to fluctuations in artistic culture with groundbreaking exhibitions and very personal approach. Besides a foreword by executive director Gregor Muir, the book includes numerous archival images and a detailed chronology.

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ICA London 1946-1968
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