Jarman Award 2017 shortlist interviews: Charlotte Prodger
Date posted: 01.11.2017
In this week's Jarman Award interview we catch up with shortlisted artist Charlotte Prodger to discuss the recent shift in her practice, from using moving image on multiple monitors in sculptural installations to single screen work.
Charlotte Prodger is a Glasgow-based artist working with moving image across evolving media formats that are inextricably bound with the autobiographical nature of her work. Previous works combine video taken from YouTube with spoken text taken from internet forums and personal emails. The equipment used to play audio and video content is also a vital part of Prodger's work. Most recently, she has been making longer single-screen works such as BRIDGIT (2016), and Stoneymollan Trail (2015).
Prodger has been making moving image work for over 20 years, and over the course of her practice has worked with many different film and video formats. Probing the material parameters of these formats has become an important aspect of her work, and the formal constraints of technology informs the "relationship between content and form". Alongside these aspects, she also looks at the socio-political histories and context of these different formats.
Previously, Prodger's work took the form of sculptural multi-monitor video installations, where she designed special stands for the technology. Monitors were placed at head-height, anthropomorphically confronting the viewer ‘face-to-face’. Content would be fragmented and dispersed across devices forming the installation.
In 2014, Prodger won the Margaret Tait Award. The award is given to an experimental Scottish or Scotland-based artist who has established a significant body of work within film and moving image to produce a new piece of work. Prodger proposed to make her first single screen work through this commission, pushing herself to explore a very different way of working, using time rather than space as an organising principle for the work.
The resulting work, Stoneymollan Trail, deals with all the key concerns that are present in Prodger's installation work. She used her own archive of mini-DV tapes amassed over 15 years, alongside new HD footage she shot for the piece. As a result of combining the 4:3 aspect ratio of the older material with the HD aof 16:9, the work constantly fluctuates from square to wide-screen, dividing the screen in a similar manner to the spatial division previously seen in her installations.
In 2016 Prodger made her second single screen work, BRIDGIT, for a solo show at Hollybush Gardens in London. This work was shot entirely on her iPhone, and reflects the ‘sketchbook’ nature of her filmmaking, exploring the links between landscape, body, technology and time. It looks at the fluidity of identity, particularly from the queer perspective. Prodger sees the film as her most personal to date.
Prodger's latest work is LHB, commissioned for the Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival. It will have a special screening at Glasgow Film Theatre as part of the Jarman Award Touring Programme on Sunday 5 November. The work will be introduced by artist and writer Ed Webb-Ingall
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