During the last 15 years I have made films and photographs that frame moments of everyday life while exploring the subtle relationships between the two media.
My latest body of work, “Lunch Break” (2008), describes a specific place and time: Maine’s Bath Iron Works at the start of the 21st century. I spent the last year immersed in the lives of workers in the historic shipyard and each of the five components that make up the project examines a different element of their everyday experience. At the center of the project is the feature-length film Lunch Break, which features 42 workers as they take their midday break in a corridor stretching nearly the entire shipyard.
Contrary to my previous films, the camera is untethered and, as it slowly moves down the corridor, the audience experiences what was a brief interval in the workday schedule expanded into a sustained gaze. Lined with lockers, the hallway seems not only an industrial nexus but also a social one, its surfaces containing a history of self-expression and customization. Over the course of the lunch break the audience sees workers engaged in a wide range of activities: eating, reading, napping and conversing. The soundtrack is a composition designed in collaboration with composer Becky Allen and filmmaker James Benning, in which industrial sounds, music and voices slowly merge and intertwine. Together, picture and sound provide an extended meditation on a moment of respite from productive labor.
Accompanying the film are three suites of photographs: a set of tableaus in which workers interact around makeshift and institutional dining tables, a collection of the various independent businesses workers have established to provide coffee, hot dogs, candy bars and snacks, and a series of more formalized portraits of the workers’ lunch boxes. In each case, the worker both frames and is framed by the workplace.
The last component is the fittingly titled “Exit” filmed over a five-day workweek. Each of the five takes that comprise “Exit” shows the long progression of workers leaving the Bath Iron Works at the end of their shift. Each take starts with a title card stating the day of the week, and then begins a daily routine that varies greatly from day to day. Reminiscent of Louis Lumiere’s film, “Leaving the Lumiere Factory,” my film emphasizes the flow of time and the nuances of daily experience.
Select Solo Exhibitions
Lunch Break, neugerriemschneider, Berlin
Lunch Break, Secession, Vienna, Austria Kunstverein, Hamburg, Germany
Sharon Lockhart, Museo Do Chiado National Museum of Contemporary Art, Lisbon, Portugal
Pine Flat, Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, Mass.
Pine Flat Portrait Studio, Blum & Poe, Los Angeles
Pine Flat, Sala Rekalde, Bilbao, Spain
Sharon Lockhart, Gió Marconi, Milan, Italy
Martine Aboucaya, Paris
No-no, Neugerriemschneider, Berlin
The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia
Gallery Tomio Koyama, Tokyo
Blum & Poe, Los Angeles
Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York
Sharon Lockhart, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego
Sharon Lockhart: Interview Locations/Family Photographs, Blum & Poe, Santa Monica, Calif.
MAK–Center for Art and Architecture, Vienna, Austria
Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York
Wako Works of Art, Tokyo
Teatro Amazonas, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Sharon Lockhart, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Kunsthalle Zürich, Zurich; Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Wolfsburg, Germany
Maria da Conceição Pereira de Souza with the Fruits of the Island of Apeú
Salvador, Pará, Brazil
Select Group Exhibitions
D’ailleurs I won’t Play Other to Your Same, Universite Rennes 2 Haute Bretagne, Rennes, France
Portraits From the Collection, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles
Role Models: Feminine Identity in Contemporary American Photography, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington
Index: Conceptualism in California from the Permanent Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Depth of Field: Modern Photography at the Metropolitan, Joyce and Robert Menschel Hall for Modern Photography, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Hammer Contemporary Collection – Part I, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles
International Incheon Women Artists’ Biennial, Incheon Multicultural & Arts Center, Incheon, Korea
The Broad Art Foundation 2006 Installation, Santa Monica, Calif.
Touch My Shadow: New Media Works From the Goetz Collection, The Centre for Contemporary Art -Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, Poland
All the Best: The Deutsche Bank Collection and Zaha Hadid, Singapore Art Museum Glass Hall, Singapore
Southern Exposure, Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, Calif.
Frontiers: Collecting the Art of Our Time, Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, Mass.
En attente, Casino Luxembourg, Luxembourg
2004 Biennial Exhibition, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Made in Mexico, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago
Los usos de la imagen: Fotografía, film y video en la Colección Jumex, Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Brazil
Cine casi cine 2003, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain
Home and Away, Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
Strange Days, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
Doug Aitken–Sharon Lockhart, Galerie Jan Mot, Brussels, Belgium
My Modern Summer, Galerie Paul Andriesse, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Photographier to Photograph, Collection Lambert, Avignon, France
From Jasper Johns to Jeff Koons: Four Decades of Art From the Broad Collections, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; Corcoran Museum of Art, Washington; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain
Public Offerings, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
In Between Art and Architecture, Schindler House, West Hollywood, Calif.
Beyond Boundaries: Contemporary Photography in California, California State University Long Beach, Long Beach, Calif.; Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, Santa Barbara, Calif.; Ansel Adams Center for Photography, San Francisco Elysian Fields; Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Quotidiana, Castello di Rivoli, Turin, Italy
Age of Influence: Reflections in the Mirror of American Culture, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
Freeze, Espaço Cultural Sergio Port, Rio de Janeiro ; Los Angeles ; Spruth/Magers, Cologne, Germany
Fellowships and Awards
Radcliffe Fellowship, Harvard University
Creative Capital Grant
John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow, Film Making
Rockefeller Foundation Film/Video/Multimedia Fellow
Japan Foundation Grant
D.A.A.D. Residency, Artist in Residence Fellowship, Berlin
Individual Artist Grant, City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department
Asian Cultural Council Grant–Artist in Residence Fellowship, Ibaragi, Japan
Kunstlerhaus Bethanien–Artist in Residence Fellowship, Stuttgart, Germany
Art Matters Grant
Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, Calif.
San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco