Rosebud

2013

Richards, James
The censored images in Rosebud were shot in a library in Tokyo. I came across them by accident while researching there in the spring of 2012. The books, monographs on Mapplethorpe, Tillmans and May Ray, were being imported into Japan from Europe when they were stopped by customs officials. Local law in Japan forbids a library from having books with any images that might induce arousal in a viewer. So after negotiations with the Director, it was agreed that customs workers would go through the shipment and sandpaper away the genitals from any contested images. The video is focused on the violence of the action of sandpapering – to the point where glossy black printer ink gives way to the scuffed and bruised paper stock underneath. There’s something intense but also futile in these marks. The video is a study of rubbing against and along different surfaces: the meniscus of water over the print, the elderflower rubbed along a boy’s body. Around the same time as this I was working a lot with a small underwater camera. Carrying it constantly and building up an archive of footage of water - puddles, passages of a submerged camera looking up at the water's surface, the slow rotating of the lens in the meniscus of a river's shallow bed. Text courtesy of the artist.
  • Artwork Details: running time: 8 minutes 40seconds
  • Edition: Ed AP of 5 + 1AP
  • Material description: digital video .mov file
  • Credit line: © the artist and Rodeo.
  • Theme: Undefined
  • Medium: Film and Audio Visual
  • Accession number: ACC3/2013

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