Charlotte Prodger’s source material is often culled from social situations including Internet forums, ‘ripped’ YouTube videos, personal e-mails and anecdotes from friends as well as the records that she plays as a DJ. Her work consists of sculpture, moving image, spoken word, printed texts and performance. For each new project she reworks previous themes, images and technical paraphernalia to create a distinct visual language.
Works such as :-* (2011) and Percussion Biface 1–13 (2012) are presented on video monitors. They show ripped YouTube videos of intimate actions involving branded sportswear, for example disembodied feet and hands carefully cutting up brand new trainers. A spoken word voice-over includes, among personal anecdotes, anonymous comments in response to the YouTube videos. These works, which arise out of the shared perspectives of an anonymous Internet community, draw parallels with the forms of the Structural Film movement in artists' film of the 1960s and 70s.
Distance and desire are key themes in the stark physical display of Prodger’s work. Audio and video are played through equipment with its own highly specific technological capacity, design history and subcultural aesthetics, including Hantarex™ monitors, Sharp® GF777 boom boxes and Rokit™ speakers. Vertical forms such as speaker tripods and monitor stands become anthropomorphic in height; supporting technology at the scale of the human body. Separating out these elements spatially enables Prodger to think about them as characters and consider the relationships between them.
In recent works such as Prospex (2013), the line between display and content becomes less distinct. A more explicitly sculptural work, Prospex is constructed of a found image of a man’s wrist wearing a Seiko™ divers’ watch that Prodger has encased between thick layers of Perspex™ with circular holes cut through it. Here, the optical nature of Perspex – transparent but impenetrable – is agitated by the actions of the artist. The gesture of punching through to the image creates a restricted opening into a terrain that is at once familiar and oblique.