Review ~ Ryder Richards at Beefhaus

Ryder Richards at Beefhaus, Dallas

Glasstire.com by Colette Copeland, 21 Oct 2016 [link]

Ryder Richards’ most recent performance work Invisible Hand took place at Beefhaus Gallery in Dallas for a couple of weeks recently, in the run up to the fall season. The show examined the politics of labor (very specifically from the point of view of the artist); institutional power is a recurring theme in Richards’ work.

When I first spoke to Richards about this project, I admit to being flabbergasted. I think I said something like: “You actually propose to remodel the entire gallery for free, including buying all of the building materials and manually doing all the labor yourself?” To wit: “Are you out of your mind? Isn’t that a reverse critique of the exploitation of the artist by institutions? Doesn’t that action also actively participate in the gentrification that DIY’s spaces are fighting against?”

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Richards’ gestures challenge authoritarian power structures—albeit in a non-confrontational manner—which is much more subversive, and I think more effective.

Richards, good-naturedly, said yes to the above questions. His work can look deceptively simple, but it’s always grounded in thoughtful theoretical discourse. He’s incredibly well-read and spends a lot of time thinking about the role of the artist as a cultural conduit.

FULL ARTICLE INVISIBLE HAND