Looking for Richard
Oct 30 – Dec 19 2015
We are pleased to announce “Looking for Richard”, the first solo show of New York-based artist Shiv Kotecha with
For this show Kotecha will present five video works from his series “Looking for Richard”, which began in 2013 as a
collection of 300 animated images on lookingforrichard.tumblr.com.
For this series the artist captured various versions of a scene that commonly appears in erotic chat rooms, where
the opposite camera only shows an empty bedroom or office space. It appears as if the men have left the rooms,
but most likely they just left the frame of their camera and are always potentially looking at us. These voyeurs are
the counterpart to the exhibitionists, who reveal only explicit parts of their body to the camera.
Each video from “Looking for Richard” shows one scene from the footage Kotecha collected. The artist first transformed
the footage using a GIF software and then looped it. Due to the weak quality of the cameras or the internet
connection, the videos merely consist of moving pixels, which only at second glance reveal outlines of a room, a bed
or a desk. This effect is created as the camera captures and transmits the space in front of it pixel by pixel, verifying
each time, what color each pixel has. The result is a dancing formation of abstract patterns; rooms that appear to
be moving or communicating with us through strange signals – and in lieu of a human being.
It is precisely this instability and disembodied gaze that the artist is interested in. Furthermore, while we are watching
the videos and looking for clues to what these scenes may present to us, we become gradually aware of the
invisible presence of another human being, potentially looking at us.
With this series and the emphasis of the word “looking” instead of “watching”, Kotecha enunciates a hermeneutics
of the gaze in terms of „being looked at“: A category that, as a mode, is never completely stable, nor is it ever unilateral.
The installation at Ginerva Gambino will emulate a screened bedroom space, as it will be dressed with a carpet,
installed snug beneath a heavy clear plastic. The videos will be mounted on digital picture frames and run for four
hours per day, the specific duration that the gallery is open. Furthermore, the videos are edited in a way that the
images of the empty rooms will appear and disappear from time to time. The videos will at times appear as off and
show no image, emulating the online statuses of people coming and leaving the chat rooms.
On the occasion of the exhibition, Verlag für zeitgenössische Beobachtung published „Little Richards” (ISBN 978-
3-944877-14-3). “Little Richards“, a companion piece to Looking for Richard, comprises a selection of dick pictures
the artist received on various dating apps between 2011 and 2013, in soft focus, sepia tone.
Shiv Kotecha (born 1986 in Whittier, California) lives and works in New York. He is the author of EXTRIGUE (Make
Now Books, 2015), OUTFITS and PAINT THE ROCK, both published by Troll Thread Press. An essay is forthcoming
in “Crude Love: Essays on Post-Conceptual Writing” (Ugly Duckling Press, 2016). He co-curates orworse.net and
co-edits Or Worse Press. He is also a member of Collective Task and a PhD candidate at NYU.