Following artists who explore the malleability of materials and their implications —from the scientific to the social and political—this talk responds to the emergence of new material concerns in current art, grounding the discussion in the works of a key group of historical and new artists who use active substances in their works. The inclusion of living materials and sensory elements in contemporary artworks reflects a blurring of boundaries within the field of sculpture that challenges its definition in terms of site and scale, and focuses less on the subject depicted or content engaged, and more on the potential of its material makeup.
Ruba Katrib is curator at Sculpture Center in Long Island City, New York, where she has produced the group shows The Eccentrics (2015), Puddle, Pothole, Portal (2014) (co-curated with artist Camille Henrot), Better Homes (2013) and A Disagreeable Object (2012). Recent solo shows include exhibitions with Rochelle Goldberg (2016), Anthea Hamilton, Gabriel Sierra, Magali Reus, Michael E. Smith and Erika Verzutti (all 2015). Katrib’s previous post was as associate curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), North Miami, she organized several acclaimed solo and group exhibitions.