Opening hours Gallery: Wednesday to Sunday 12–5pm

In Conversation: Paul Simon Richards and Esther Leslie

In Conversation: Paul Simon Richards and Esther Leslie

Paul Simon Richards, Quasi-Monte Carlo. Screenshot/ production image (2016)



Paul Simon Richards discussed his video work Quasi Monte-Carlo with Professor Esther Leslie.

From the use of lighting, colour and drawing to the socio-political meaning of fairy tales, Richards and Leslie shed a light on the aesthetic, technical and political implications of animation, drawing links between a wide range of modern and contemporary films, from Zbigniew Rybczynski’s experimental video Tango (1981) to blockbuster Disney productions Moana (2016) and Frozen 2 (2019).

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See the film before the event starts

Quasi Monte-Carlo is showing in the gallery from 5pm (duration 58 minutes). The café is also open until 6.30pm for the purchase of refreshments prior to this event.

“It is a matter of luck if we can take the image for the reality, or if the image suffices, if the media is not offline just when we need it, if modellers – be they builder, sculptor, dolls house maker, knock-offs caster, puppeteer or CGI animator – model well or draft what we think we want…” – Esther Leslie on Quasi Monte-Carlo

Watch a trailer for Paul Simon Richards: Quasi-Monte Carlo

Paul Simon Richards

Paul Simon Richards (b. 1981, UK, lives and works in London) studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, London and holds a MA Philosophy from the University of Greenwich, London. Recent solo exhibitions include L*a*b, Arcade, London; Love’s Hidden Symmetry, AND/OR, London (both 2016); and Voices at Nile Sunset Annex, Cairo (2015). His work has featured in group exhibitions at venues such as The Showroom, London; Frieze Art Fair (with Lucky PDF), London; Galerie kunstbuero, Vienna; Jerwood Space, London; and Modern Art Oxford; and film festivals such as the BFI London Film Festival, Experimenta section.

In 2017, Richards was selected by FLAMIN Productions to make his video work Quasi-Monte Carlo, and in 2015 he was awarded the Fokus video prize, Nikolaj Kunsthal, Copenhagen.

Professor Esther Leslie

Esther Leslie is Professor of Political Aesthetics in the Department of English and Humanities at Birkbeck and Co-Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities. Her research interests include Marxist theories of aesthetics and culture, with a particular focus on the work of Walter Benjamin and Theodor Adorno, as well as the poetics of science, European literary and visual modernism and avant-gardes, animation, colour and madness. Recent publications include Derelicts: Thought Worms from the Wreckage (Unkant, 2014), Liquid Crystals: The Art and Science of a Fluid Form (Reaktion, 2016) and, with Melanie Jackson, Deeper in the Pyramid (Banner Repeater, 2018).