Los Angeles based artist Sharon Lockhart’s newest project, Pine Flat, was made in a small town in the foothills of California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains. Comprising a gallery installation of film loops and photographs as well as a feature-length 16mm film that will be screened in a cinema setting, the project looks at the youth of Pine Flat, a small community in California.
Lockhart is internationally recognized for films and photographs that frame the quiet moments of everyday life while exploring the relationship between the two mediums. Much of her photographic work has involved staging scenes in a method reminiscent of filmmaking, while her films emphasize the photographic qualities of the moving image. Pine Flat is an intimate view of contemporary rural life that looks at the communitys children in works using both formats.
The centerpiece of the project is the film Pine Flat, which will be screened on select Sundays in the Cinema during the run of the exhibition. Within the gallery, Pine Flat is broken down into the twelve 10-minute segments that comprise it; these are shown as individual loops and rotated over a period of days. This site-specific installation was created by Lockhart in collaboration with the Los Angeles architectural firm EscherGuneWardena and marks the first time she has reconfigured one of her films for a gallery setting.
Also on view are 19 photographs from the Pine Flat Portrait series, which Lockhart shot in a studio she set up in a barn in the towns center. She invited the children to drop by to have their portraits made, shooting them against a black cloth backdrop illuminated by natural light. The artist encouraged them to act within this stark theatrical setting, giving them space to create individual personae for the camera; some brought their most prized possessions or came dressed in elaborate athletic gear. The results have a solemnity and intimacy that suggest full-length portraits by painters such as Francisco de Zurbarn and douard Manet.
After its presentation at the Walker, Pine Flat will travel to the Arthur M. Sackler Museum at Harvard University and the Museu do Chiado, Lisbon, Portugal. Accompanying the exhibition is a fully illustrated catalogue, published by Charta, with texts by Walker director Kathy Halbreich, Fogg Art Museum curator Linda Norden, and artist Frances Stark.
Walker Coordinating Curators: Joan Rothfuss and Yasmil Raymond Ventura