Human Rights Overture by Lin Charlston

I was already researching human rights when I was inspired by Richard Hamilton's probing use of mediated imagery at his retrospective at Tate Modern in early 2014. Human Rights Overture (UDHR) brings together the 30 Articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and a photo montage based largely on random photographs of TV News. The combination reveals a frightening gap between the high-flown principles of the UDHR and the realities that seep through the juddering, out-of-focus images. My own mask-like face looks inappropriately benign as I toy with the profoundly disturbing idea of identifying with some of the faces in the crowd. Are the people fighting for human rights or preventing them? I have chosen a sober and painstaking book structure to offset the more playful aspects of my approach to this serious question.

Artist Bio

The "creative leap" from head of science faculty to book artist occurred in 2000. Lin Charlston gained an MA in Book Arts with Distinction at Camberwell College of Arts in London and today her artist's books are held in major public collections including Tate Britain, The National Art Library at V&A, Yale Center for British Art, The Art Institute of Chicago and UCLA. Charlston forfeits the luxurious aesthetic object, using the artist's book as a platform for serious thought. Questioning rather than asserting, she delivers a whole-book experience that provokes debate about the communication of science, its applications and consequences. Charlston's interdisciplinary background and her interest in eco-feminism are evident throughout her work in which objectivity vies with subjectivity and speculative inter-subjectivity. Recent work investigates ethical stances both public and private. Major influences have been the simplicity of the Coracle Press publications and the inventiveness of artists like Xu Bing.