Julia Stoschek Collection


James Richards and Leslie Thornton
2016 / HD video / colour / sound

In their first jointly-produced video work, ‘Crossing’ (2016), James Richards and Leslie Thornton materialise the intensive collaboration between two artists belonging to different generations.

Black and white negative of ants

James Richards & Leslie Thornton, Crossing, 2016. HD video, 19'12", colour, sound. Video stil

© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2021. Courtesy of the artists. On loan from the JULIA STOSCHEK FOUNDATION, Berlin/Düsseldorf

  • 8 min 10 sec

The idea for “Crossing” came about after the filmmakers and video artists James Richards and Leslie Thornton were invited to take part in a joint exhibition in 2016. Conceived as a collaboration, the starting point was each artist’s own films and archives of found footage and original material. Both Richards and Thornton deal in their practice with the boundaries of optical technology and fundamental aspects of the moving image such as the isolating individual images, one’s own field of vision, or a camera’s technical details. Cavities, pupils, pits, and bullet holes – in “Crossing” these impulses are combined and form a powerfully condensed collage of images together with countless overlays and transitions, and with fictional and living creatures that tests what has been seen. The film represents the intensive phase of their collaboration, acknowledging the additions and numerous variations that were created digitally in both artists’ inboxes between Berlin and New York. The work’s title is a reminder of the crossing of their practices and the resulting playful appropriation of each other’s points of view – despite their biographical differences.