Pause: Billy Bultheel & James Richards
Workers in Song


7–9 June 2024

daily 8.30 pm / 8 pm entrance
Tickets: available online soon


<p>Billy Bultheel & James Richards, <em>Workers in Song</em>, 2023. Videostill, performance documentation, WIELS, Brussels. Courtesy the artists</p>

Billy Bultheel & James Richards, Workers in Song, 2023. Videostill, performance documentation, WIELS, Brussels. Courtesy the artists


Workers in Song is a collaboration between visual artist James Richards (b. 1983, UK) and composer Billy Bultheel (b. 1987, BE), who find one another through the expanded approach towards their discipline. Bringing together new music, archival film and performative text, the performance is haunted by histories of occult photography and spectral music as well as more quotidian pleasures such as internet hook-ups, fandom, and Franz Schubert’s Winterreise.


Conceived to be episodic in structure, compositions are reworked, videos are added or replaced, and new musicians are invited into the ensemble as it travels. Situated in KW’s main hall, Workers in Song turns it into a musical Frankenstein, taking apart the seamless and unified apparatus of the cinema or chamber concert. Songs and images come flickering and humming into life, and performers shift in front and behind the audience, weaving together an array of cover versions, interruptions, distortions and homages. Workers in Song questions the boundaries between liveness and the prerecorded, between presence and absence, between ghosts and the archive.


Curator: Léon Kruijswijk
Curatorial Assistant: Nikolas Brummer


Co-commissioned by WIELS Centre for Contemporary Art, Batalha Centro de Cinema, Mudam Luxembourg – Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, and KW Institute for Contemporary Art.

Funded by Flanders, State of the Art, and supported by Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin, and Kemmler Foundation.



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