Charlie Ford lying on the floor, one leg lifted up

Catching up with Charlie Ford

| Fri 1 Jun 2018

Charlie Ford is an interdisciplinary artist from Manchester, UK, who works across the mediums of performance, dance, video and sculpture. In 2014, Charlie was supported by artsdepot to create The Physicality of Drawing, a seven-day performance and interactive drawing installation, as one of our first commissions of original work.

He received his BA in Dance Studies from Middlesex University (MDX), before moving to the U.S. in 2015 to attend the San Francisco Art Institute, where he now holds an MFA in New Genres. He currently lives and works in San Francisco. We caught up with him to see what he's up to now.

To briefly introduce yourself, let's start with the big questions: what are you working on, what’s your art about and what are you interested in?

My performance and video works allude to everyday life - interactions with objects, simple tasks, clothing, and bodily movements - and disrupts their familiarity through tempo, spacing, gesture and tone. Through choreographic processes, I try to reconsider the world around us through the space between: stillness and action, object and body, seriousness and humor, control and failure.

I have just finished working on a video, imitation of a rock, in which the camera intimately captures a humorous interaction unfold, between a body and a rock within the same confined space. I have luckily managed to screen the video in San Francisco and Cannes, France, so far.

Now that you’re in San Francisco, do you still have a connection to Finchley and Barnet?

I keep in touch with my professors and my peers from my time at Middlesex University, so I’m always aware when the MDX Dances perform at artsdepot every year.

How did working at artsdepot help you develop your art? Did it help you build your career?

artsdepot gave me the opportunity to organise and curate my first exhibition, which to me was incredibly inspiring and beneficial to my artistic growth. It paved the way for where I am now. I was given the support and the freedom to perform for seven days, and this gave me confidence in knowing what I could put my body through. In other ways though, The Physicality of Drawing helped me to discover the work I didn’t want to make, or to move away from anyway. I think that can be a harsh but very important feeling to accept in art making.

Do you have any advice for emerging artists in your art form?

I think it’s necessary and interesting to keep studying performance in a larger context to the arts. Like looking at the performances of sport players and politicians, or how we as individuals or a society perform in different landscapes.

A more general answer to your question…don’t take yourself too seriously. I try to surround myself with friends and other artists who remind me to do this on a daily basis.

What’s next for you, and where can people keep up to date with you?

This summer I have a residency with SAFEhouse Arts in San Francisco, and will be working towards a performance or video piece to be premiered in September. Additionally, another video of mine, experiments in the resonance of control, was selected by the international broadcast network Delete TV to be screened in Austria this July. You can keep up to date with me through my website.

1. sometimes, performance, photo by Marco David
2. video still from imitation of a rock
3. video still from experiments in the resonance of control

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