Dreamland Sirens is award-winning filmmaker and artist Charlotte Colbert’s latest exhibition. Set to run during Frieze London from 11th – 21st October in the iconic Grade II-listed Fitzrovia Chapel, open from 10am-6pm Monday to Saturday and 12pm-5pm on Sunday. The exhibition is curated by renowned art figure Simon de Pury and is UTA Artist Space’s second satellite project spearheaded by Zuzanna Ciolek and first show in London.
The show, taking inspiration from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, invites us to become aware of what we dream and visualise collectively.
“We are too unsensitised to ‘dream’ in our society; it’s seen as superfluous, frivolous, when in fact there is nothing else. If you stop imagining you don’t create anything. We live in and around structures and things that were imagined by the people who came before us – our buildings, our clothes etc. It’s really important we actively and collectively visualise a world we want to work towards – a positive way we might interact with Al, with climate change, with each other. There is a power in imagining and what we imagine becomes tomorrow,” said Charlotte Colbert.
In addition to large-scale 4-metre-tall new sculptures, the show will include a sound collaboration with celebrated film composer, Isobel Waller-Bridge (Munich: The Edge of War, The Phantom of the Open, Emma) which will be played from mermaid-shaped speakers in the space and released as a vinyl. Limited edition artworks will also be available with all sales going to support charities working towards a better future. The collaboration also includes a performance by female identifying dancers wearing sculptural costumes.
Isobel Waller-Bridge remarked: “Diving into Dreamland Sirens with Charlotte has been a spectacular adventure. I have always admired Charlotte’s art, so to be invited to collaborate with her was an honour. The way Charlotte reads the world is completely unique, and responding to her work with my music has drawn me into new realms. I love the result, and I think what we’ve created together reflects our mutual and deepest love of surrealism, and the rabbit hole.”
Colbert works within narrative fictional cinematic filmmaking as well as installations and sculpture. Her works often deal with fairy tales and dreams, archetypal, unconscious imagery, and create a dialogue with the whispers of alternative realities. Guiding us through the looking glass into an immersive and surrealist exploration of dreamscapes, symbolism, and the mind, Colbert investigates, “Which dreams and utopias can we Magick into the world?”
A monumental crying eye sculpture–standing in as the looking-glass–takes us down the rabbit hole, through the looking-glass and into our mind’s eye. Opposite, placed nearly religiously, glows a large- scale Uterus-shaped pink sculpture entitled “A Taste of Exile,” a tongue and cheek nod to the infamous Queen of Hearts.
Simon de Pury commented: “It gives me immense pleasure to curate this exhibition of Charlotte Colbert. We have in us the power of intuition, the power of connecting to the unseen that can be very powerful. I think we are all mediums and that artists are the ultimate mediums and Charlotte is definitely one.”
Zuzanna Ciolek, Director of UTA Artist Space, added: “Charlotte is a creative force who is presenting not only a powerful exhibition but also staging a playful rebellion.”
Madeleine Boomgaarden, Director, the Fitzrovia Chapel, said: “In many ways, the chapel is a fantasyscape itself with its hundreds of golden stars, 17 different types of marble and otherworldly feel. We’re delighted to welcome Charlotte’s surreal work for Frieze into the space.”
Visitors will be greeted by a utopic pink flag made in collaboration with ISTANBUL’74, as well as poppy-pink-coloured exterior sculpture – a psychedelic, mycelium looking creature which playfully nods to the Stoned Ape missing link theory and invites us to free our minds and hearts, trust in our powers of visualisations as well as in the tiny everyday actions which cumulatively change the world.
Colbert’s work is multifaceted as she spans film, sculpture, and installations, whilst engaging with narrative, psychoanalysis, socio-political constructions of gender and identity. Colbert’s previous artworks have been exhibited at the V&A, Montpellier Contemporain, Basel Art Fair, and Istanbul Art Fair. Colbert is also an acclaimed filmmaker, making her directorial debut in the BIFA nominated psychological horror She Will (2021), starring Alice Krige, Kota Eberhardt, Malcolm McDowell and Rupert Everett. The film won the Golden Leopard for Best First Feature at the Locarno Film Festival and was the New York Times’ Critic’s Choice.