Sharon Lockhart’s new film, Podwórka, takes as its subject matter the courtyards of Lodz, Poland, and the children that inhabit them. A ubiquitous architectural element of the city, Lodz’ courtyards are the playgrounds of the children that live in the surrounding apartment buildings. Separated from the streets, they provide a sanctuary from the traffic and commotion of the city. Yet far from the overdetermined playgrounds of America, the courtyards are still very much urban environments. In six different courtyards throughout the city of Lodz, we see parking lots, storage units, and metal armatures become jungle gyms, sandboxes, and soccer fields in the children’s world. A series of fleeting interludes within city life, Podworka is both a study of a specific place and an evocation of the resourcefulness of childhood.
Sharon Lockhart’s films and photographic work have been widely exhibited at international film festivals and in museums, cultural institutions, and galleries around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Walker Art Cetner and the Kunsthalle, Zurich. Her most exhibitions include the Vienna Secession, the Kunstverein in Hamburg and the 55th Carnegie International, Pittsburgh. She is currently an associate professor at the University of Southern California’s Roski School of Fine Arts. She is represented by Neugerriemschneider, Berlin and Gladstone Gallery, New York, and Blum and Poe, Los Angeles.