Though this is the first time Richards will have a solo show at an international biennial, the Welsh Pavilion will be his second outing at the Venice Biennale. In 2013, his video Rosebud (2013) was included in Massimiliano Gioni’s show “The Encyclopedic Palace.” The video consists mostly of images from art books in which the genitalia have been scratched out. Richards found the images in a library in Tokyo, where images that might cause arousal must be censored.
Richards’s work deals with the nature of found and appropriated images in the age of digital technology. Readymade pictures and footage in the London-based artist’s work are usually sourced from the Internet or discarded videotapes—he splices together footage he finds into video essays. His work has been shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and in 2014, he was nominated for the Turner Prize.
“It’s a huge honor and privilege to be representing Wales at the Venice Biennale 2017,” Richards said. “I’m truly surprised and thrilled by the selection and very excited to start working on a new work for this unique event.”