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Martha Colburn Cuts the Boring Parts Out

September 23, 2011

How does an artist develop a personal style? In this film, artist Martha Colburn traces the evolution of her work, from her first found-footage films to subsequent hand-painted and stop-motion animations.

Inspired by Baltimore’s experimental filmmaking community, Colburn describes how her earliest films were assembled from audio-visual cast offs found in the city’s surplus dump. After making films without using a camera, Colburn describes how she started to shoot her own original paintings and collages. Creating evocative, dream-like scenarios within a tight logic, Colburn’s humorous, frenetic, and visually dynamic work embraces a DIY aesthetic and the physicality of film as a material.

More information and credits

Featuring the films Feature Presentation (1994), First Film In X-Tro (1994), Asthma (1995), Evil Of Dracula (1997), Cats Amore (2002), and Groscher Lansangriff: Big Bug Attack (2002), with music by Haleh Abghari, Jacques Berrocal & friends, Martha Colburn, The Dramatics, Jad Fair, The Jaunties, Felix Kubin, Jason Willett, and Nathan Whipple.


Art21 New York Close Up Created & Produced by: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Editor: Joaquin Perez. Cinematography: Michael Tyburski & Andrew David Watson. Key Grip: John Marton. Sound: Nicholas Lindner & Nick Ravich. Associate Producer: Ian Forster. Production Assistant: Paulina V. Ahlstrom, Don Edler & Maren Miller. Design & Graphics: Crux Studio & Open. Artwork: Martha Colburn. Music: Haleh Abghari, Jacques Berrocal & friends, Martha Colburn, The Dramatics, Jad Fair, The Jaunties, Felix Kubin, Jason Willett, Nathan Whipple. An Art21 Workshop Production. © Art21, Inc. 2011. All rights reserved.

Closed captionsAvailable in English, German, Romanian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian

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Interested in showing this film in an exhibition or public screening? To license this video please visit Licensing & Reproduction.

Martha Colburn

Martha Colburn was born in 1971 in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, formerly lived and worked in New York, and currently lives between Amsterdam and Lisbon. Colburn works for years on a single project, and her films result from intensive research and meticulously rendered stop-motion animations that include photography, collage, and painting. The artist’s vibrant imagery can belie the seriousness of the themes she addresses, which include America’s history of war and violence, and crystal-meth addiction in rural areas.


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