• Baumettes
    Sharon Lockhart

Still of title card from the film, “Baumettes.” Courtesy Sharon Lockhart and the female inmates of Baumettes

Baumettes is a collaborative film between artist Sharon Lockhart and the female inmates of the eponymous prison in Marseille, France. Based on a model Lockhart established over ten years of filmmaking in Poland with the residents of a sociotherapy center for girls, Lockhart developed texts with the women that form the basis of the film. Reflecting on the spaces of confinement and isolation that define their existence in prison, the women’s texts give voice to those who have been judged and removed from society as punishment. The prison’s architecture operates as an unseen character in the film, known only through the inmates’ voices and their expressed lived experience of it. The resulting film depicts a mix of conversations, from the philosophical to everyday concerns, articulating the rich humanity of the women of Baumettes and the effects of life behind prison walls.

Sharon Lockhart makes photographs and films born of in-depth research and collaboration with different communities over multiple years. Her projects are conceptually rigorous, formally precise, and socially and historically grounded, often addressing topics of labor, feminism and the voice of the child. Her work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at major museums worldwide, including The Artist's Institute, The Arts Club of Chicago, Kunstmuseum Luzern, Bonniers Konsthall, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Israel Museum, Kunsthalle Zürich, the Vienna Secession, and the San Francisco Museum of Art. Her most recent cinema film, Rudzienko, was commissioned by the Liverpool Biennial and the Kadist Foundation and is an extension of her work with young Polish women and the writings of Polish/Jewish philosopher Janusz Korczak. Previous films include Goshogaoka, NŌ, Pine Flat, Lunch Break, and Teatro Amazonas. Lockhart is recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Alpert/MacDowell Fellowship, and the Herb Alpert Award. She received her bachelor's from the San Francisco Art Institute and her master's from the Art Center of College and Design. Lockhart previously taught at University of Southern California's Roski School of Art and Design and is currently faculty in Photography and Media at the California Institute of the Arts. She lives and works in Los Angeles.