Previously at the ICA - Films
19 Oct 2010
The undisputed highlight of the Berlin Festival’s Forum programme this year, Sharon Lockhart’s Double Tide is a film of mesmerising beauty. Lockhart has often documented the world of work and the workplace (No, Lunch Break, Exit), and inherent in her films is an exploration of the spatial and temporal, exemplified in this study of a female clamdigger working the Maine coastline. Twice a day, at the low tides of dawn and dusk, Jen Cassad drags her heavy sled out across the mudflats, wading through the water and burying her hands deep in the mud to prise out her catch. This is arduous, backbreaking toil, but in capturing its solitary and repetitive nature the film has a peaceful, tranquil air. Shot in only two takes, the fixed frame composition heightens our awareness, inviting contemplative, reflective viewing. As the landscape shifts and changes with the rolling morning mist and the sinking evening sun, the ambient sounds of birds and water draw us deep into this unfamiliar natural world. Time and tide structures the work of the clamdigger, as it structures our viewing.