Our Artist of the Month for April 2017 is Laura Cooper. Her video work considers people and the places they inhabit. In this interview, she explains more about her practice, the process of filming and her upcoming projects
Tell us a bit about your practice, how would you describe the work that you do?
My work begins with an attempt to have encounters with places and their inhabitants. Put very simply, it derives from a curiosity about other people and how they relate to their environment. I am interested in the confinement of one’s awareness to our own body and the un-knowableness of other people, species and material forces. I often ask people to perform playful actions that are abstractions of their everyday situation, re-appropriations or misuses of the space in which they take place, and document them in works made of performance and installations of video, drawings and objects.
My works often start with my own awareness and sense of my body in relation to a place, as the most immediate sculptural medium in relation to any site. Subsequently, this leads me to explore how people attempt to control, measure or transcend their environment, as well as how they relate and communicate. In exploring these issues, through sometimes-absurd gestures or odd juxtapositions of actions and materials, I try to break apart and understand spatial dynamics, gender roles, socialised behavior and our relationship to nature. So although much of my work is an exploration of urban public space, I am increasingly interested in the complex relationship between humans, nature and other animals in an increasingly strained ecosystem.