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Durham University

School of Modern Languages & Cultures

Events in Modern Languages & Cultures

School Lecture series: The Thing and the Hole: Casts and Negative Spaces in Modern Sculpture and Theory

28th February 2019, 16:00, ER146 (Elvet Riverside 1), Dr Jo Malt (KCL)

Dr Malt’s paper examines a series of modern and contemporary sculptures produced by using non-traditional techniques of casting, in particular casts of empty spaces, or negative images of found objects made by casting or moulding. A surprisingly persistent form that recurs from the mid-1960s onwards in the work of a number of artists including Marcel Duchamp, Bruce Nauman, Guiseppe Penone and Pacal Convert, this kind of sculpture offers a particularly self-conscious way of engaging with our experience of space, and the way we divide up the objects in the world. This way of making works (which we might want to call objects rather than sculptures) seems to have particular resonance with aspects of phenomenology that have been explored more or less contemporaneously by philosophers. Her paper asks how the artworks in question might help us think through some of the same theoretical questions from a different perspective and via a non-linguistic mode of investigation.