Feb 24 2022
The Open Call Podcast with Zoë Charlton
The Open Call Podcast, hosted by Anne Stagg and Laura Tanner, features conversations with contemporary artists about their work. This week, The Open Call Podcast has the pleasure of sharing with you part of our conversation with Zoë Charlton. Zoë is a multidisciplinary artist whose practice spans drawing, sculpture, and installation. She lives in Baltimore, MD and maintains studios there and in Washington, DC where she is on the faculty at American University. Zoe’s work centers around the figure, however these depictions move beyond representation and serve as signifiers of black identity. Her figures are frequently partially obscured by a dense envelopment of collaged elements like trees, birds, houses, or masks that functionally reference the idea of place. While her figures reference specific individuals, these additional elements have an ubiquitous quality to them. She mines this imagery from sources like magazines, books, packs of decorative stickers, and the internet. Zoë refers to herself as a storyteller and she weaves together familiar and unique elements as an invitation to question how mythologies are born and consider who the depicted individual might be and what their relationship is to the culturally loaded objects and landscapes that surround them.Zoë’s work draws from rich memories of her grandmother, her upbringing in the panhandle of Florida, her experience moving from place to place as a military dependent, and other noteworthy aspects of her personal history. The lived experiences that she folds into her drawings and installations are the foundation upon which she explores topics like race, gender, history, and mythology.We enjoyed a delightful conversation with Zoë that hit on her research, studio practice, and balancing her practice with family and an academic career . We hope you enjoy our conversation and please check out our Instagram -- @the_open_call_podcast -- where we share images of Zoë's artwork. We typically release new episodes every 2 weeks, however this episode closes our 3rd Season and we will take some time off before launching Season 4. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast and follow us on Instagram so you will know when we are back with new episodes. Special thanks to Susan Cooper for voicing our Outro, Scott Stagg for composing our music, Judah Bachmann for creating a new version of our podcast music and for sound engineering, and to our wonderful research assistants: Ally Price, Nikki Cohen, and Erin Miller who provide production support, web, and social media design.