Benefit Supervisor Sleeping

Unit 9

Charlotte Colbert's new large scale video sculpture "Benefit Supervisor Sleeping" will be displayed at East End project space Unit 9. 

The monumental work has taken two years to make. The subject of this portrait is Sue Tilley, the Benefits Supervisor launched into the public realm through a seminal series of paintings by Lucian Freud after the two were introduced by Leigh Bowery in 1990.

Colbert’s work stages Sue Tilley within the original studio where Lucian Freud first painted her, creating a temporal vortex. On this Colbert comments, “The paint splattered on the floorboards would have been the very paint that painted Sue.”

Examining Freud’s iconic series and exploring the mystery of its subject, Colbert uses 3D technology to zoom in on discrete observations of Sue Tilley. Slowing down footage and stretching the encounter between artist and subject, Colbert’s work uses technology to extend the gaze. Through the process, object become subject:


“I like the idea of turning the tables. Subverting the male gaze. Sue is now looking at us.”