James Richards and Leslie Thornton are showing their first collaborative project Crossing (2016) at the Secession. This video installation materializes an intense phase of exchange between the artists who belong to two distinct generations and contexts. Thornton, a media artist who herself was influenced by Paul Sharits, Yvonne Rainer, and Joan Jonas often deploys projections complicated by ample sound-image interactions. Likewise, musical composition is key to Richard’s practice. Both artists’ work is motivated by their understanding of cinema and video as original languages and forms of thinking.
The work’s title evokes the artists’ mode of working together, traversing their practices and sharing their views. “Thornton and Richards uploaded their files via digital networks, downloading each other’s material, amending, deleting, inverting concurrently. Feverishly working in their respective time zones (Thornton’s late-night editing would segue into Richards’ early morning work), each version of Crossing accrued more extensions and variations.When the pair finally met in Minneapolis for the Walker screening, work continued until the final sequence was finished on a laptop in the back of a cab on the way to the cinema premiere. Crossing only gained a physical body once, when it was transferred to a hard drive in the projection booth, shortly before the public arrived in the auditorium.”
(Quoted from: Mason Leaver-Yap, “James Richards and Leslie Thornton’s Crossing: Deep Water“, http://rodeo-gallery.com/exhibitions/crossing-test/)