Welsh bands to light up Venice Biennale

Posted on: 26 Apr 2017

A group of Welsh musicians will be representing Wales at a special event to celebrate and promote the Cymru yn Fenis Wales in Venice exhibition by James Richards that will be shown at the 57th International Exhibition - the Venice Biennale.

Gwenno, Meilyr Jones and his band, and DJ Huw Stephens will perform at the event on the 12 May, which follows the preview of James Richards’ exhibition Music for the gift. The exhibition is a new body of work including a sound installation, video and photographic works that will be shown at the Santa Maria Ausiliatrice, a church and former convent, throughout the Venice Biennale. The exhibition is commissioned by the Arts Council of Wales and curated by Chapter.

l-r: Gwenno, Meilyr Jones, Huw Stephens

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. Means of producing and displaying images are central to Richards’ methodology and he unpacks the image as both subject and object, unfolding ways in which fragments of the present can connect with those of the past, the hidden with the visible, and the sentient with the body. Drawing on cultural as well as visceral qualities within his materials, Richards’ work sets up striking elliptical interplays of sound, moving and still image that create a reflective space of extraordinary intensity.

The guest list for the event on the 12 May, which will follow the press preview of Richards’ exhibition, will include press and media and people from cultural organisations all over the world. Chapter’s Director of Visual Art and curator of Cymru yn Fenis Wales in Venice 2017 Hannah Firth, comments:

“The Venice Biennale is a great international platform for Wales to celebrate the world-class work of our visual artists. It is also an opportunity for us to showcase the wealth of musical talent from our country and we are absolutely delighted to be working with the incredibly talented Gwenno, Meilyr Jones and with DJ Huw Stephens who will all perform at our post-preview event during the opening week of the Biennale."

James Richards: Music for the gift will travel to Cardiff and be shown at Chapter in early 2018.

Image: James Richards, Music for the gift, 2017, production still. Archive image courtesy The Schwules Museum

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