– Autumn/Winter 2003
The Possible's Slow Fuse: The Works of Sharon Lockhart
This text is only available to subscribers
To subscribe to Afterall journal, starting with this issue, please click here.
Alternatively, if you wish to purchase this article individually, you may do so via the University of Chicago’s website.
I. No action
Our attempt to represent reality for ourselves involves, in modern times, the need to 'respond' to it. We are asked to measure our ability to understand and then to act by our response to the representations we encounter. Part of what 'modernity' signifies is the need to develop an awareness of the temporal map in which we find ourselves, both as individual subjects and as a group, so that we can devise a strategy that will enable us to change the current state of affairs. Such a system of thinking is based on the premise that in order to be present in the present, one has to act in accordance with what is happening both in the world and in one's immediate reality. We are valued according to the impact we have on the world through the sum total of all our actions, in other words, our life.
Sharon Lockhart's work - her films and photos, though the latter in a different way - moves in another orbit. Her works challenge us to wait for something to happen. They refer to the possibility of a self-awareness that is uncertain, not because of one's inability to trace this temporal map that I have just referred to, but because one hesitates to do so. Her working methodology is based on another premise: the need to explore other modes of experience in contexts and situations that are 'ungovernable' from the point of view of the action. The filming in Goshogaoka of a group of young girls training in a Japanese gym for what seems to be a basketball team, or in Teatro Amazonas of