Beth Emily Richards

Beth Emily Richards an artist-researcher investigating contemporary myth making, often exploring popular culture and its associated idiosyncratic subcultures. The historical narratives that I explore often relate to notions of the performer, macho and the absurd. I employ strategies of ‘failure’, changes of scale, and an embracing of historical inaccuracy to disrupt expectations and hegemonies in a playful way.

Past works have engaged with personae such as Harry Houdini, Robert Falcon Scott, Francis Drake, Arnold Schwarzenegger and William ‘Buffalo Bill’ Cody; as well as with social trends such as ‘tombstoning’ (teenagers jumping off cliffs into the sea), Mexican telenovelas, ‘80s-‘90s action films, roller derby, Western movies, scouting, and motivational speaking. The narrative explored determines the outcome of the work: photographs, text, events and actions, performances to camera, sound works and props subvert personal, sited and fictive histories. My practice also addresses the veracity of the archive, particularly the role of lens-based media and documentation in live artworks.