Due to the shape-shifting quality of her animated films, it is no easy feat to grasp all of Martha Colburn’s work in one sitting. The flood of images may look extreme to the point of ridiculous, yet it is the ambiguous tension between the humoristic display of her figurines and the deadpan thematic seriousness that makes the work of this experimental filmmaker transcend into something more truthful and spellbinding. This radical character threads through every passage of her practice, ever unrestful, unsettled, impatient for that next bang that unleashes a thunder of marauding dragons. What stays elusive and makes her an outstanding artist is her associative logic of assembling her scattershot ideas and inspirations and putting them into a somehow cohesive form. This article seeks to understand her practice in relation to her research methods and her ongoing commitment to analogue formats, and contextualises her work in relation to the theatrical, the musical and the historical epic.
The integral version of this article can be found in the printed KINO!