Spring 2018 Advanced Practice: Sculpture Lab: Materiality – Ester Partegàs

Sculpture Lab: Materiality

Ester Partegàs

Wednesdays 9 – 11:40 AM

CRN: 6309


Image: Dario Robleto “At war with the entropy of nature / Ghosts don’t always want to come back”, 2002. Cassette: carved bone and dust from every bone in the body, trinitite (glass produced during the first atomic text explosion, circa 1945 from Trinity test site, when heat from blast melted surrounding sand), metal screws, rust, typeset. Audio tape: an original composition of military drum marches, various weapon fire and soldiers’ voices from battlefields of various wars made from E.P. recordings (Electronic Voice Phenomena: voices and sounds of he dead or past, detected trhough magnetic audiotape).2 1/2” x 3 3/4” x 5/8″

Sculpture Lab will bring special emphasis on issues of matter, material, materiality, stuff, and substance, its modes of production and assimilation in contemporary sculpture. For over two thousand years, Platonic theories have influenced our way of making and understanding art, in which the goal has been to overcome matter in order to arrive at a pure form or idea, a process that favors the metaphysical over the physical. Is as if materials have been waiting for a form to redeem them. Belittled as related to the natural world, coded as “feminine”, and labeled as passive, matters of matter have been ignored. This class is an invitation to work in an experimental way in order to discover the agency of materials, understanding them as a dynamic entanglement of relations (physical, energetic, historical, social, emotional) rather than static and submissive carriers of information. We will be able to explore, for example, foam, dust, white bread, commercial wood, tree barks, trash, plastics, wax, jello. Complemented with workshops on mold-making and metal welding, we will make sculptures whose materiality can engage in touch, smell, produce uncanny ensembles, aggregate, decompose, ooze, speak, and “be themselves”. Taking inspiration from current materialist theories (Jane Bennett, Karen Barad, and Elizabeth Grosz) we will disentangle the politics and ecologies embedded in our materials and study how contemporary sculptors are working within this frame (Jimmie Durham, Abigail de Ville, Nina Canell, Dario Robleto, Theaster Gates, Cecilia Vicuña).

Ester Partegàs is a visual artist and educator. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally in venues such as the Museum of the City of New York; Sculpture Center, LIC, NY; the Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria, NY; Columbus Museum of Art, OH; Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona MACBA; Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; the Arnolfini, Bristol; the Moscow, Athens and Busan Biennials. She has received the Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship. Her work has been reviewed by BOMB Magazine, Art in America, New York Magazine, The Brooklyn Wave, FlashArt, ArtNEws, ArtNExus, The New York Times, Sculpture Magazine. She holds an MFA in Sculpture from the Universitat de Barcelona and a Diploma on Multimedia Arts from the Universität der Künste in Berlin. Born in Barcelona, she currently splits her time between New York City and Marfa, TX.  Her work is represented by Foxy Production, NY; Christopher Grimes, Santa Monica, CA; and NoguerasBlanchard, Madrid/Barcelona.

Registration: MFA Fine Arts Students. Grad students by permission. Please write the MFA FA Program Director Simone Douglas douglass@newschool.edu