SculptureCenter, in collaboration with the Vera
List Center for Art and Politics at The New School, presents the
artist-led lecture series Subjective Histories of Sculpture.
This program, initiated in 2006, furthers SculptureCenter’s exploration
of how contemporary artists think about sculpture, its history,
legacies, and potential for innovation.
This year, three artists have been invited to present their own take on art history and consider the thematic focus of Thingness.
Utilizing sculpture as a point of departure and source of inspiration,
they explore the material conditions of our lives. Engaging with a rich
collection of social, cultural and political associations, these artists
consider the body as a performative object, study objects to explore
the construction of identity, and negotiate the tension and translation
between material and immaterial experience. Citing specific works,
bodies of work, texts, and personal anecdotes taken from inside and
outside cultural production, and inside and outside “art,” these
subjective, incomplete, partial, or otherwise eclectic histories
question assumptions and propose alternative methods for understanding
sculpture’s evolving strategies.
Martin Kersels emerged in the late 1980s as a
performance artist and founding member of the Los Angeles-based
collaborative SHRIMPS. Continuing to work in performance, he
incorporates sculpture, photography, video and installation into his
practice. Employing a comedic slapstick effect that engages in both
humor and pathos, Kersels often utilizes his own physique as a driving
force to investigate ideas about performative sculpture. Set within the
social context of pop culture and suburban experiences, he intertwines
the physical and psychological to create objects and characters that
engage wide-ranging emotions, as they wrestle with the limitations and
possibilities of the physical self.
Born in Los Angeles, Martin Kersels has exhibited widely in galleries
and museums internationally. In 2008, the Santa Monica Museum of Art in
association with the Tang Museum at Skidmore College organized Heavyweight Champion,
Kersels’ first mid-career retrospective. He has also held solo
exhibitions at the Kunsthalle, Bern and has been included in group shows
at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; Centre Pompidou, Paris; and
the Whitney Biennial in 2010 and 1997. Kersels is represented by
Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York and ACME Gallery, Los Angeles. He is
currently Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in
Sculpture at Yale University.
*Presented on occasion of the Vera List Center’s 2011-2013 focus theme “Thingness.”
VLC = 20 Years. Join us for the 20th anniversary year, with free admissions to all VLC events. Mark your calendar for the March 2 festivities.