We caught up with Charlotte Colbert during her exhibition for her new installation/ large scale video sculpture “Benefit Supervisor Sleeping” and managed to ask a few questions about her art practice.
1 Why did you decide to do a video piece with Sue Tiley?
I have been developing these large scale screen sculptures. They are big rusty metal pieces encasing TV screens. I’ve come to see them as “breathing portraits”.
I’ve always been interested in nudes. The history of the nude. What is revealed, what is hidden, what is empowerment and what is submission. I was interested in entering a dialogue with Benefit Supervisor Sleeping. Re-creating it with 21st century materials and inverting the male gaze. The viewer is lulled into a sense of comfort through the nude and suddenly the muse ceases to be passive and opens her eyes. The object becomes subject and the tables are turned.
2 Is your work normally video based?
Most of my work so far has been photographic, video and metal based but I also work with ceramics and am currently exploring completely new materials. I tend to follow questions and explore themes. The shape /form enters a dialogue with the content.
3 How much video did you shoot? and how long did the filming take?
I prepare my shoots a lot as the footage for these screen sculptures is only one part of the overall piece. The shape and screens are decided beforehand even though it keeps evolving throughout the process.
4 Did you do the editing?
Yes, the editing is very straightforward as they are long single takes.
5 Whats it like being married to an artist?
I love it but I haven’t been married to anyone else yet so can’t compare.
6 How was Columbia?
I only saw one specific part of Columbia on the Fibra Residency with Artesanias de Colombia which focused on learning weaving and traditional techniques from indigenous communities.
We made the most incredible friends and so interesting living so remotely, in such a tight nit community without running water or electricity in the middle of nature for 2 weeks.
The community we stayed with, the Kogis, have a strong environmental role and message. They say we have created disorder in the world because we are not thinking well. They say we need to change our way of thinking and “think well”. Thank and pay the earth for all we are taking from her.
7 You have a shop – is the commercial aspect of art ever a problem for you?
I love the idea of making things accessible, making pieces that push the practice in a broader sense.
8 Whats next?
Working on some new immersive work inspired by termites. Am very excited.