Press Releases

Sharon Lockhart and Ines Schaber to Join Faculty of the Photography and Media Program of CalArts’ School of Art

Sharon Lockhart and Ines Schaber to Join Faculty of the Photography and Media Program of CalArts’ School of Art
Photo: Sharon Lockhart - framed chromogenic print, 49 x 62 inches, photo courtesy of the artist.

Dean Thomas Lawson is pleased to announce that photographer/filmmaker Sharon Lockhart, and artist/writer Ines Schaber have been appointed to the faculty of the School of Art at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). Lockhart will begin teaching in the Institute’s Photography and Media Program Fall 2015 with Schaber joining the program in Spring 2016. 

CalArts’ Program in Photography and Media is dedicated working with image-makers and artists interested in developing work, building technical skills, and engaging in critical conversations that help them understand their practice in relation to the images that shape contemporary culture.

“In the hiring process, we sought artists who reflect the School of Arts’ commitment to artistic innovation and critical observation,” noted Dean Lawson. “Sharon and Ines are exemplary artists and teachers in that regard, who bring very different, but equally rigorous practices to the program. A dedicated educator, Sharon regards teaching on par with her art-making. Her poetic and socially conscious investigations of labor and tightly defined communities provide continuity with the politically engaged projects of late faculty member Allan Sekula. With work revolving around new aspects of media culture and questions of visibility, Ines will bring a European viewpoint to the ongoing discussion on the role of photography that animates the program. The addition of both artists to the faculty strengthens ties between CalArts and European arts institutions. Ines has been based in Berlin and Sharon has worked extensively in Europe, most recently in Poland.”

For her installations, Lockhart employs photographs and videos, as well as documentary methods and strategies of anthropology and sociology. Her work investigates community, labor, rituals of daily life, and the way those rituals are played out in front of a camera. Known for her long-term collaborations that unfold over months, and sometimes years, she works closely with her subjects to understand and represent their worlds. Lockhart’s subjects range from a girls’ junior high school basketball team in a Tokyo suburb and Maine factory workers on lunch break to an audience seated in a neoclassical opera house in Manaus, Brazil. Her most recent work Milena, Milena, the third stage in a narrative triptych, opened this year at the Kunstmuseum Luzern in Switzerland. She is a recipient of a 2015 Herb Alpert Award in the Arts. 

Lockhart’s recent solo exhibitions include such venues as Wiener Secession, Vienna, Austria; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Israel Museum, Jerusalem. Her films have been included in the New York Film Festival, the Vienna International Film Festival, the Berlin Film Festival, and the Sundance Film Festival.  

Since 2005, Schaber has been engaged in an ongoing research-based project that consists of a series of case studies, texts, and artistic works through which she investigates and tests notions of the archive. In her work, she questions the status of the things that remain hidden, or are kept invisible. The role of photography is central within this field of inquiry. Her work interrogates ways photography, as both artistic and popular mass media, defines, fixates, or stashes away things and contents. Her collaborative project with sociologist Avery Gordon, The Workhouse: Room 2 at dOCUMENTA (13) explored the cultivation of alternative, autonomous and utopian ways of living and working through the history of former monastery, workhouse, and correctional facility Breitenau.

Schaber’s work has recently appeared at Kunstwerke Berlin, in collaboration with the filmmaker Madhusree Dutta; and the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn, Germany, in collaboration with the artist Stefan Pente, and at the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, in collaboration with the architect Mathias Heyden. Her publications include The Workhouse: Breitenau Room (with Avery Gordon) and Obtuse, Flitting By but Nevertheless There–Image Archives in Practice (forthcoming).

With its roots in still photography, CalArts’ Program in Photography and Media supports both graduate and undergraduate students in a broad range of media and approaches, including still and moving images, installation, new media, sound, performance and publication, all grounded in conversations about the histories of photography and media, the politics of representation, the changing role of cameras and photography in our daily lives, social documentary and activism. From the intro level to graduate studies, courses are designed to challenge conventional notions of image and art, encourage experimentation with materials and ideas, and build each artist’s sense of the context and personal importance of their work.