On Recent Work —
Emma Hart (b. 1974, London) lives and works in London. She received an MA in Fine Art from the Slade School of Fine Art in 2004 and completed her PhD at Kingston University in 2013. Recent solo exhibitions include: Giving It All That, Folkestone Triennial (2014), M20 Death Drives, Whitstable Biennale, Whitstable (2012) and TO DO, Matt’s Gallery, London (2011). Hart has had residencies at Camden Arts Centre (2009) and Wysing Arts Centre (2012). She will be going to Italy for a 6 month residency this year after winning the 6th Max Mara Prize for Women hosted by the Whitechapel Gallery, London. www.emmahart.info
On Car Crash
Since studying photography twenty years ago I have sought to unpick and rupture the camera’s ‘honest’ relationship to reality. I was trying to take messy photographs, that spoke about trauma and chaos.
Life looks good in images. The image is turning everything into bite size aesthetic surfaces. Real experiences are being hidden or smoothed over by the camera. Battling this has been the drive of my art making.
Car Crash (2011) was an attempt to mark the discrepancy between trauma and its representation or symbolic form. I asked people about car crashes they had been in. If they used objects in front of them to describe the crash, I took a photograph.
On Giving It All That
Giving It All That was installed in a decrepit flat in Folkestone. It drew on the anxiety which inhabits the gap between our public and private selves.
The viewers were offered precarious empty drinks (the fragility of which affected the viewer, made them nervous and put them on edge). Being served or being monitored manufactures different emotional states.
I use video and sound within my installations to create atmospheres. Sounds, a women crying for example, lingers over the work and creates a kind of weather.
On Dirty Looks
Dirty Looks was inspired from working in a call centre. The viewer would enter the space to a clamor of noise. They are forced to think about fragments, not objects. Things have been ripped from somewhere and are on their way to somewhere else. Things are not contained, but are spilling out. Here the tongue has been ripped from the body. The hope is that the viewer fills the gaps, or gets sucked into the gaps, bursting from one reality into another.
I do not work to make things with limits or finished edges. Nothing is stable. In fact, clay itself is already a fragment, ripped from the earth.
(See print issue for more images)