Sharon Lockhart is well known for her formally strict and conceptually precise films and photographs that often explore social subject matter. As much as her photographs reveal cinematic qualities of staging and casting, so too do her films frequently engage a static camera and angles that recall photographic practices. To create the works in Lunch Break, Lockhart spent one year in Bath, Maine, at the Bath Iron Works shipyard—a private sector US naval shipbuilding company—observing and engaging with workers during their daily routines. The resultant film installations and series of photographs focus on the activities of these workers during their time off from production.
Lockhart’s work in this exhibition crosses boundaries and complicates distinctions between film, photography, and documentation in provocative ways. Her visual representations are devoid of sentiment and yet deeply humane, intimate in their focus on everyday situations while reflecting broader global conditions through their historically grounded approach. Created within the political and economic context of global capitalism in the twenty-first century, in which the industrial working class of the United States is shrinking if not disappearing altogether, Lunch Break captures a moment in time that may soon become a thing of the past.
Sharon Lockhart: Lunch Break is curated by Sabine Eckmann, director and chief curator, and is on view from February 5 to April 19, 2010.
Sharon Lockhart received her MFA from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena in 1993. She has been a Radcliffe fellow, a Guggenheim fellow, and a Rockefeller fellow. Her films and photographic work have been widely exhibited at international film festivals and in museums, cultural institutions, and galleries around the world. She is currently an associate professor at the University of Southern California’s Roski School of Fine Arts.
A fully illustrated color catalog will accompany the exhibition. The catalog includes essays by Sabine Eckmann, Mark Godfrey, and Matthias Michalka, an interview by filmmaker James Benning in which Sharon Lockhart discusses her creative process, and an interview with architects Frank Escher and Ravi GuneWardena conducted by András Pálffy.
The Museum's Education department connects special exhibitions with students of all levels through specialized tours, curriculum plans, hands-on activities, and more. Download the Connections Guide for the exhibition for more details.
Colby College Museum of Art, July 10 to October 17, 2010
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, May 21 to September 6, 2011
Support for Sharon Lockhart: Lunch Break was provided by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; James M. Kemper, Jr.; the David Woods Kemper Memorial Foundation; the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency; Helen Kornblum; and members of the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum.