Arts Council of Wales | Cymru yn Fenis / Wales in Venice 2017
Cymru yn Fenis / Wales in Venice 2017

Cymru yn Fenis / Wales in Venice 2017

James Richards will represent Cymru yn Fenis Wales in Venice 2017 with his exhibition 'Music for the Gift'.

Cymru yn Fenis Wales in Venice 2017

Music for the Gift

James Richards

May 13 – November 26, 2017

Santa Maria Ausiliatrice
Fondamenta San Gioachin

30122 Venice
Italy

James Richards will exhibit Music for the gift, a new body of work including a sound installation, video and photographic works, to represent Cymru yn Fenis Wales in Venice as a collateral event of the 57th Venice Biennale.

Read the full press release from 9 May 2017 here.

The exhibition, held at the Santa Maria Ausiliatrice, is commissioned by the Arts Council of Wales and curated by Chapter, Cardiff.


James Richards

James Richards: Wales in Venice 2017

Cardiff-born Richards’ interest lies in the possibility of the private amidst the public chaos of quotidian media. His work makes use of an ever-growing bank of material that includes fragments of cinema, works by other artists, stray camcorder footage, murky late night TV, film soundtracks and archival research.

Richards’ presentation for Cymru yn Fenis Wales in Venice is inspired by the space of the Santa Maria Ausiliatrice and the artist’s ongoing exploration of the emotive power of appropriated material.

James Richards: Music for the gift is curated by Hannah Firth and managed by Chapter.

04-James-Richards-and-Steve-Reinke-What-weakens-the-flesh-is-the-flesh-itself,-video-still,-560
James Richards and Steve Reinke, What weakens the flesh is the flesh itself (installation view), digital video with sound, 2017. Copyright: James Richards and Steve Reinke; courtesy Wales in Venice. Photo Jamie Woodley


The Learning and Events Programme

Wales’ presence at Venice reflects back into Wales through initiatives such as the Invigilator Plus programme that offers professional development opportunities for artists and curators. Opportunities for students to participate have been developed in 2017 as a pilot with Cardiff School of Art and Design at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

Talks and events contextualising Richards’ wider practice, along with the Invigilator Plus Training Programme has been developed in partnership with the artist-run organisation g39 and will take place in Wales throughout 2017 and 2018.

Read more about the 18 Invigilators visiting Venice.


Santa Maria Ausiliatrice

The Cymru yn Fenis/Wales in Venice exhibition will be presented for the third time at the Santa Maria Ausiliatrice. James Richards will present an entirely new body of work devised for the rooms of this historic and atmospheric building.

The Santa Maria Ausiliatrice is a former convent now used as a community centre. The spaces used by Wales comprise the former chapel as well as a complement of contemporary rooms.

Situated midway between the main Biennale Giardini and Arsenale sites Santa Maria Ausiliatrice is on Fondamenta San Gioacchino. Just off the wide Via Garibaldi it is very accessible and easy to find.

See here for opening times and how to get to the exhibition


Venice Biennale

La Biennale di Venezia is the largest and most prestigious visual arts exhibition in the world. Cymru yn Fenis/Wales in Venice is commissioned and managed by Arts Council of Wales and Wales Arts International with support and collaboration from the Welsh Government and British Council. It’s selected by a call for proposals.

Arts Council of Wales has commissioned artists to present at Cymru yn Fenis/Wales in Venice as a Collateral Event at the Venice Biennale since 2003, celebrating the best of emerging and established artists from Wales. Previous artists include Helen Sear, Bedwyr Williams, Tim Davies and John Cale.

The rationale for presenting in Venice and what we seek to achieve is reflected in the partnerships aims:

  • Present the most exciting and creative artists associated with Wales.
  • Focus international and national attention on the diverse range of critically valued work in, from and to do with Wales.
  • Create international experiences and connections for galleries, curators and artists that will develop the visuals arts in Wales.
  • Celebrate Wales in the World as dynamic, culturally engaged and forward-looking.

The presence at the Venice Biennale is underpinned by Arts Council of Wales with a core budget of £400,000 across two years to develop the project.


Press information

Welsh media:
Betsan Moses
betsan.moses@arts.wales / T +44 (0)29 2044 1307

Other UK & international media:
Lisa Hill at SUTTON
lisa@suttonpr.com / T +44 (0)20 7183 3577

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