Over the last couple decades, Los Angeles artist Sharon Lockhart has made a body of work comprised of photographs and films, rooted in the delicate gesture of paying attention. For Scrivener’s, a screening of Sharon Lockhart’s 2016 film Rudzienko—a collaborative work made with a group of adolescent girls living at the Youth Center for Socio-Therapy in Rudzienko, Poland—will set the stage for a conversation with James Benning around processes of working with subjects as collaborators.
Sharon Lockhart (American, b.1964) was born in Norwood, MA, and is an American photographer and filmmaker based in Los Angeles, CA. She holds a BFA from San Francisco Art Institute and an MFA from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Her work considers social subjects primarily through motion film and still photography, often engaging with communities to create work as part of long-term projects. Lockhart first became known for Auditions, the 1995 photographic series in which she recruited children to re-enact a romantic scene from Small Change by Francois Truffaut. She has been a Radcliffe fellow, a Guggenheim fellow, and a Rockefeller fellow. Lockhart’s films and photographic work have been widely exhibited at international film festivals and have been the subject of solo exhibitions at major museums worldwide, including the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Walker Art Center, Kunsthalle Zürich, Wiener Secession, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, among others.
James Benning made his first avant-garde works in 1972, and shortly thereafter began producing longer experimental films. Between 1978 and 1985 he created numerous projections and computer-based installations. From 1977 to 1980 he taught at Northwestern University, University of Wisconsin, University of Oklahoma and University of California San Diego. Since the late 1980s he has lived in Val Verde, near Los Angeles. He teaches at California Institute of the Arts where, through his works, he continues to greatly influence younger generations of artists. Group exhibitions featuring Benning’s filmic and two-dimensional works have included the Whitney Biennial (New York, 1980) and presentations at the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN, 2002); 21er Haus (Vienna, Austria, 2012); Hessel Museum of Art at Bard College (Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, 2012); Kunstmuseum Basel (Switzerland, 2013); Artists Space (New York, 2013); Fridericianum (Kassel, Germany, 2014); Kunstverein in Hamburg (Germany, 2014). Since 2011, Benning’s work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions including Two Faces (2011), Two Cabins (2012), and decoding the passed (after Black Hawk, Pettway, Mondrian, Traylor, Ramírez, Darger, Howard, Yoakum, Hawkins, and Tolliver) (2014) at neugerriemschneider, Berlin; One Way Boogie Woogie 2012 (Argos, Centrum Voor Kunst en Media, Brussels, 2012); Decoding Fear (Kunsthaus Graz, Austria, 2014). James Benning is represented by the neugerriemschneider gallery in Berlin.