Charlotte Colbert: Ordinary Madness
Gazelli Art House
39 Dover Street, W1S 4NN
July 1 – August 13
Charlotte Colbert will have an exhibition, Ordinary Madness opening this July at the Gazelli Art House in London, exploring the relationship between technology and the twenty-first century with the use of familiar icons of instant communication, emoji’s. Ordinary Madness shows Colberts ability to communicate as a visual storyteller with the incorporation of surreal elements. She comments on how we relate to emoji’s and the capability of the technological icons to transcend borders and cultural differences, or alternatively as an invasion of personal expression.
Ordinary Madness began when the child of one of Colbert’s friends tried to zoom into a butterfly on a window. She then started evaluating how technology has become as perfunctory as eating and drinking. She then began to think of civilization as a world of paradoxical emoji families. She says, “There’s something wonderful about technology but something very dark. We’re coming back to a symbolic way of writing but it’s someone else’s interpretation.”
The exhibition focuses on the juxtaposition between old and new, and decontextualising the subjects within human temporality and history. “What trace will the digital age leave behind?” becomes the driving force for the work and sets the tone. The series was shot in an abandoned, former lesbian commune in East London with half-erased figures seemingly disappearing against deteriorated walls.
The artist works with black and white medium format film, double exposures and ghostly images that intertwine computer and human life. Colbert explains, “There was something really powerful about the nudity on the shoot and I thought it tapped into a fantasy of ancient Greek female warriors.” Colbert creates a surreal parody of daily life as seen through twenty-first century language. Nude figures unable to connect, couples frozen in a forced state of feeling, a surreal army of circuit board women, an emoji wasteland where madness, fantasy, comedy and chaos coexist.