Expanding Sculpture:
Objects of Performance and Ritual

This course will investigate the interconnectedness of sculpture and performance in both historical and contemporary art practice. This is an interdisciplinary class with an emphasis on broadening the definitions of sculpture and performance. We will look at examples of how theatrical objects, the body, video and sound can be viewed as sculpture. We will consider how this expanded definition can be approached from traditional concerns of materiality, form, spatial presence and architectural engagement. We will also consider concepts of how one’s studio practice can be seen as a performative or ritual activity. From this perspective, we will examine the implications of defining the resulting “objects” as sculpture.

The students will be asked to create a series of ritual objects; sculptures used by the body and sculptures made by the body. They will also create costumes, props, conceptual models and short performances. These performances could include music, sound and video as potential elements. They will be asked to consider the importance of the location and environment in which these performances take place. They will also be required to view their projects from a rigorous sculptural perspective. This class will examine the subject matter through readings, lectures and student presentations. Assigned projects will be developed within the context of class critiques, discussions and final presentations.