Glasgow-based artist Charlotte Prodger, whose intimate, layered practice directs writing, sculpture, sound, and, most notably, video toward ends that obliquely involve narratives and history, has been selected to represent Scotland at the 2019 Venice Biennale, which will run from May 11 to November 24.
The presentation will be commissioned and curated by Linsey Young with Cove Park, an artist residency program about 45 miles northwest of Glasgow. Prodger’s work for Venice will involve the creation of “a new single-channel video work that will build on her sustained exploration of ‘queer wilderness,’ ” according to a statement from Creative Scotland, the arts group that helps run the country’s pavilion at the Biennale.
“Growing up in the rural, agricultural environment of Aberdeenshire as a young person, I understand landscape and queerness as inherently linked,” Prodger said in a statement. “And, as someone who identifies as queer, I’m excited by the fluid borders of identity—especially the perceived edges of gender and geography. The productive crux of this new work is precisely where all these things come into contact with one another.”
Prodger has picked up numerous accolades recently—she was nominated for the Turner Prize this year and the Jarman Award last year—and has had shows at the Künstverein Düsseldorf, Studio Voltaire in London, and Temple Bar Gallery in Dublin. However, she has been too-little-seen in the United States. Her museum debut stateside came at SculptureCenter in New York last year, and she appeared in a two-person show at Essex Street gallery in Manhattan with Jason Loebs in 2012.
Over her two-decade-long career, Prodger, who was born in 1974 in Bournemouth, England, has shot her disarming film and video work in a wide variety of formats, though she’s recently focused on using her iPhone’s camera. “It is through choice that I use the phone, because for me the way that I film is quite sketchbook-y, like I’m just filming as I go about my daily life,” she said in a 2017 interview.
Other artists to represent Scotland in recent years include Rachel Maclean (2017); Graham Fagen (2015); Corine Sworn, Duncan Campbell, and Hayley Tompkins (2013); and Karla Black (2011). The United Kingdom organizes its own, separate presentation in its pavilion in the Giardini in Venice, and this year Cathy Wilkes, who was part of a four-person delegation that represented Scotland in the Most Serene Republic in 2005, has been tapped.