Apr 18, 2011

Martha Colburn's World of Anarchy

Stills from Martha Colburn's "Myth Labs"

Martha Colburn is one of my favorite contemporary animators, and having been able to see her work and listen to her speak at the Museum School last semester was definitely a highlight of my academic career at the Museum School. My favorite animation by Colburn is "Myth Labs" (2008) and "Dolls VS. Dictators VS. Deerhoof VS. Evil" (2010). Her marriage of folk, punk, and traditional animation techniques which fabricate anarchic environments lends the animations to becoming a beautiful weaving of the grotesque and the humorous.

"Sea See" Martha Colburn, 2001, painting

While there is a grotesque notion to her overall body of work, there are raw bits of humor and political satire that are a relief from the bombardment of horrific imagery that encompasses her works. In addition to animating her works, oftentimes there is a direct control of the musical compositions--either by her or bands that typify and mesh with the concepts and visuals in her animations. What attracts me most to Colburn's work, of the many, is her ability to integrate gestural mark making in a way that builds upon a narrative and mythology. It is this narrative and mythology of anarchy that Colburn focuses on within the dialogue of popular American/Western culture that is conceptually fascinating and visually complex.



Art in America Magazine

|| Post by: Stephanie Clark ||

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