Monday, November 29, 2010

Rachel Whiteread

The work of Rachel Whiteread came up today during our conversations in critique. Some of you were unfamiliar with her work, so I thought I would post some here. 
Rachel Whiteread "House”, 1993 concrete, (destroyed)

Rachel Whiteread "Sequel IV”, 2002, Plaster, polystyrene and steel, 31.9 x 29.5 x 9.8 in
"Since the end of the 1980s, the British artist Rachel Whiteread (born in 1963 in London) has created a unique oeuvre consisting of casts of fixtures, furniture, and spaces. Her work invites the viewer to partake in an intimate experience, conjures associations, and often produces a feeling of absence and loss. ...Whiteread’s works are usually casts of the interior spaces of furniture or utility items such as mattresses,wardrobes, or bathtubs. Since 1990, she has turned to larger-scale objects as well: entire living spaces and even a house, as well as individual architectural elements like floors, doors, and staircases. ... 

"Reception and interpretation of Whiteread’s objects focus on the themes of recollection, past and present, private and public sphere, loss, and death. The viewer searches for signs to explain the vague feeling inside, tries to discover personal traces of the inhabitants in the spaces, or projects his or her own visions into it. But the uniformity of the plaster or concrete blocks interferes with the narrative- memory-induced character of the constitution of the space. This context also implies the theme of loss and death. With the solidifying of spatial volumes, the possibility of being becomes lost: homogeneous, solidified space ceases to reveal the identity of its inhabitants." excerpted from the site of Kunsthaus Bregrenz

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