There will always be more things in a closed, than an open box

There will always be more things in a closed, than an open box

Richard Couzins
'There will always be more things in a closed, than an open box'
A series of video, sculpture and printed works
various dimensions
Collezione Angela e Tonino Buono
© Cultural Documents

Exploiting links between sound and image, Richard Couzins has chosen to make his works in a place where the rhythms of labour become material production and things are forged from an abundance of energy, process and spontaneity. His works are full of parody, irony and tensions, veering between overstatement and understatement, with a heady overdose of metaphor and humour towards the overlooked in the everyday all around us.

The works in the series ‘There will always be more things in a closed, than an open box’ are developed from a filmed intervention in Scatolificio Stella, a cardboard box factory where Richard was artist in residence at during 2012 and 2013.

The resulting video and series of visual images are created from documentary photographic images combined with printed box structures.

A box is the simplest delineation of three dimensional space constructed by man and is emblematic of our transference into modernism, essential in the process of mechanisation, transport and packaging required to vanquish geographical distance.

A cardboard box can also have an ephemeral quality, like the disposable outer layers of something. Once opened, it’s difficult to get stuff back into its box, and like words that can’t be taken back, time takes its toll and cannot be reversed. If thought of in a simple way, packaging could be considered in the same way we consider images on a screen – present, beyond our touch and always proceeding in a forward motion.

In the video we see a factory; cardboard is processed and formed into boxes. In a change to how we normally encounter the box, we don’t see an assembled box, rather, we see it come to life on the factory floor; as an empty container the cardboard box moves around, either on hidden wheels or carried by someone’s body; different kinds of movement, rough and smooth, frenzied, all framed by the architecture which the box confronts and is contained by. By confounding our expectations, Richard suggests that the box might be something that isn’t just to be thrown away and which also affirms human production, and not necessarily inferior to what it must, inevitably go on to contain.

Commissioned by Cultural Documents

with funding and sponsorship from

Cultural Documents

Ingegnere Antonio Buono, Venafro

Arts and Business Scotland, New Arts Sponsorship Grants.

Scatolificio Stella


Please also see Richard’s bio page

Connected Images