Sharon Lockhart and Harvard Students, with editing by Ernst Karel, 50 min. (2008)
An audio excursion into a wide variety of public and private spaces in Bath, Maine. Under the direction of Sharon Lockhart, Sert Practitioner and 2007-08 FSC-Radcliffe Fellow, a group of Harvard students traveled to Bath, Maine for two days to explore the sound landscape.
The first day began in the early morning at Southgate Family Restaurant, situated outside the south gate of the Bath Iron Works, the site of Lockhart’s two film works, Lunchbreak and Exit. From there, students fanned out through the town, each with their own stereo audio recorder, meeting people and recording sounds wherever their various paths led them, until late into the evening. These included a fishing vessel outside of town, a high school band rehearsal, the inside of a police car, the town’s solid waste facility, a conversation with an Iraq war veteran working out in the gym, and a nursery school classroom, among many others.
On the second day, the students worked with Lockhart and composer Ernst Karel to begin to carefully craft an impressionistic audio documentary that brings the listener into the physical and cultural spaces of this Maine town.
Safari recording participants:
Coordination by Melissa Davenport
Sharon Lockhart, US, HD, color, 80 min. (2008)
Motivated by shifts in the world economy and their effects on American labor and inspired by iconic twentieth-century images of the blue-collar worker, Lunchbreak documents the vital social space of the communal meal.
For the first time in her films Lockhart unleashes a mobile camera, although one fixed to a carefully calibrated path that cuts a carefully timed cross-section through the Bath Iron Works in coastal Maine during the midday repast, as workers sit along a central passage to eat and talk.
By deliberately slowing the film down, Lockhart opens up the wealth of details, textures and gestures captured by each frame and echoed by the richly evocative and complexly multilayered soundtrack designed by Becky Allen and filmmaker and Lockhart mentor James Benning.
Lunch Break’s gradual passage through the aged factory offers a meditative and melancholic reflection on the architectural, social and phenomenological space of a notably anachronistic mode of industrialized labor.
Sharon Lockhart, HD, color, 40 min. (2008)
Like the Lumière brothers before her, Lockhart steps outside the factory in order to film her lyrical companion piece to Lunch Break. Structured around five separate takes filmed across the work week, Exit captures the temporal and physical “shift” from labor to rest of workers exiting the iron works and observes the subtle differences and symmetries that sustain the rhythm of factory labor.