Based in Leek, Staffordshire
Animated 3D busts spin around in the air, their heads taped with everyday items and detritus such as rubber gloves, a screwdriver and plastic packaging. Charles Richardson’s videos investigate absurdities in the contemporary representation of the human figure.
The new dimensions of techno-busts
Using himself, his family and his friends as his models, Richardson creates his spinning busts with 3D photo scanning technology. The images are part hyperreal, part sketchy and fuzzy. There is something sublime about their frozen poses as they stare impassively into the distance.
Portraits of the internet age
The bust is an established sculpture genre conventionally immortalizing great men and women, normally seeking to capture an accurate physiognomic likeness. Richardson subverts this tradition with his surreal juxtapositions, interrogating how we present ourselves in the virtual world, in which nothing seems impossible.
The artist has professed an interest in combining nostalgic atmosphere with a contemporary context. He presents his hybrid, high-tech busts in front of the flashing background of an old 16 mm projection space. The audio track also combines old melodies, the whirr of an old-fashioned camera and sounds clearly linked to the contemporary moment, such as studio noise, clatter and coughs.
The work was originally commissioned by Daata Editions.
Some of the same themes are explored in Richardson’s installation Headbone (2015) which is featured in Kiasma’s ARS17 exhibition.