David Rickard: O

21 Sep 2016 – 19 Nov 2016

Event times

Wednesday - Saturday 12-6pm

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London, United Kingdom

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Copperfield, London is pleased to present, O, a solo exhibition by David Rickard (b. New Zealand 1975) which engages with our perception of self and the world beyond.


The zero point between the internal and external is a curious place. In terms of painting, the 'picture plane' supposedly exists exactly between the space in front of and receding into a painting. Extending this concept in terms of self, the exhibition places the viewer squarely between what is perceived to be external in the work, 'C', and internal in the work, 'I'.


The title of the central video installation, 'C', refers simultaneously to the symbol for the speed of light and to the digital shorthand for the word 'see'. Programmed to bend and abstract footage of a seascape, the surf now washes onto an endless central shore. In this new circular perspective, the movement of these waves broadly references the behaviour of light but always in terms external to this zero point. 

As digital advertising becomes increasingly prevalent as a means of visual communication, it is fitting that a work about sight essentially hacks this technology. Designed to be viewed from substantial distances, the resolution of the LED facade breaks down in the gallery space. Drawing on this malfunction, Rickard gives us only one true glimpse of the footage. By allowing us to look through a pair of standard binoculars mounted backwards he recreates the correct distance and condenses the waves for our perception.

The film’s duration is 8 minutes and 20 seconds, which is the time it took for light to travel from the sun to earth and illuminate the recorded scene.


Next to the scale of ‘C’, the accompanying work ‘I’ could almost be overlooked. Just a peephole in one wall and a small pill sized camera opposite give any indication that it exists. Peering through the peephole into the gallery storage, a video is revealed showing a journey through the artist's body. Mounted at the height of Rickard's mouth, the peephole plays back the journey taken by a capsule endoscopy camera as it travels from mouth to colon.

The video forms an internal self-portrait that references and updates Robert Morris’s early work ‘I’ (1962), which comprises a photograph of the naked artist inside a small ‘I’ shaped box implying that “the body is inside me”. This concept of inside and out reinforces the underlying consideration in the exhibition; our existence at the blurred threshold between the two.  


David Rickard was born in New Zealand (1975) Solo exhibitions include; Copperfield, London (2016 upcoming), A Bag of Atoms, Balzer Projects (2016 upcoming), Vanishing Point, Sumarria Lunn, London (2013), Displacements, Galleria Michela Rizzo, Venice (2012), Time + Trace, Sumarria Lunn Gallery, London (2011), Test Flights, Economist Plaza, London (2010). Selected group shows include; Not Really Really, The Frederic de Goldschmidt Collection, Brussels, Belgium (2016), The Dream of Modern Living? - Warrington Museum and Art Gallery, UK (2015) Flags, Serra di Giardini, Venice (2015), Weight for the Showing, Maddox Arts, London (2015), Act & Application, Lawrie Shabibi, Dubai (2014), Alchemy, State of Change, NEST, The Hague (2014)Intersections – Science in Contemporary Art - Weizmann Institute, Tel Aviv (2012) Round the Clock, 54th Venice Biennale – Venice (2011) Beyond Ourselves – The Royal Society of Science, London (2011)

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David Rickard


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