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In association with the NCAD and IMMA awarded fellowship programme, art historian and critic Dan Adler presents a lecture entitled, Tainted Goods. Recent Assemblage Sculpture and Cultural Critique. The lecture draws on Alder’s research and writings including Tainted Goods: Contemporary Sculpture and the Critique of Display Cultures (Routledge, 2018). Adler offers close readings of sculptures by Geoffrey Farmer (Canada), Isa Genzken (Germany), Rachel Harrison (USA), and Liz Magor (Canada), and also discusses works by Doris Salcedo (Colombia), the subject of a major upcoming exhibition at IMMA, entitled Acts of Mourning.

Adler considers how such assemblages incorporate tainted materials, often things left on the side of the road, according to the logic and progress of the capitalist machine – developing a range of aesthetic models through which these practices can be understood to function critically. He offers an argument for paying more attention to the material conditions of sculpture – as a powerful and necessary tool to cut through the lingo of installation art and the capaciousness of digital culture.

Presented in the collaboration with the IMMA Residency Programme and the National College of Art and Design MA, Art in Contemporary World.


About the Speaker

Dan Adler is Associate Professor in the Department of Visual Arts & Art History at York University in Toronto. Adler’s areas of research include the history of art writing, modern and contemporary sculpture, German modernism, and the development and reception of the conceptual art movement. His other books include the monograph Hanne Darboven: Cutural History 1880-1983 (Afterall Books/MIT Press, 2009). He co-edited (with Mitchell Frank) German Art History and Scientific Thought: Beyond Formalism (Ashgate Press, 2012) and co-edited (with Janine Marchessault and Sanja Obradovic) Parallax: Stereoscopic 3D in Moving Images and Visual Art (Intellect Books/University of Chicago Press, 2013).

A former senior editor of the Bibliography of the History of Art at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, he regularly contributes reviews to Artforum. An alumnus of the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program, he co-curated (with Lesley Johnstone) a Liz Magor retrospective exhibition at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, which traveled in 2017 to the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zürich; the Kunstverein in Hamburg; and the Musée d’Art Moderne et contemporain in Nice, France (the accompanying catalogue, Liz Magor: Habitude, was published by JRP Ringier). His other curatorial credits include the exhibitions “Francis Bacon and Henry Moore: Terror and Beauty”(2014) held at the Art Gallery of Ontario and “When Hangover Becomes Form: Rachel Harrison and Scott Lyall” (2006), held at the Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver and Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE).