Rochelle Goldberg

Rochelle Goldberg’s (b. 1984, Vancouver; lives/works: Berlin) sculpture and installation asks how we can extrapolate beyond the assumed boundaries between living entities and objects. In her work, the material and conceptual distinctions between natural systems and the built environment collapse, synthesize and reform. Goldberg’s notion of ‘intraction’ represents an in-between space, where the boundary between one entity and another is destabilized, and where the remains of encounters between multiple material and conceptual realities are articulated. Summoning historical, ecological, religious and poetic subjects, the range of her articulations has comprised ceramics, invertebrate shells, steel, celery roots, gold, carpets, chia seeds, Mary Magdalene, Mary of Egypt, brass, bronze, fish skeletons, plastics, polished metals, human hair, steam trains, pelicans, burnt matches, electrical switches, crocodile and snake skins, fibre optic light strands, and crude oil.

In works such as Intralocutor: can you trigger the switch?, 2018, Goldberg presents a carpet as a ground for numerous found, grown and fabricated objects: chia seeds, celery roots, LED lights, and a human-scale figurative sculpture, united by a similar gold chromatic blend. Chia seeds were seeded on the carpet where they grew and died over a three-month period, before being sprayed with a mixture of shellac and gold paint, fixing this cycle of life and death to the carpet, deceased chia roots interwoven in the synthetic fibres. Celery roots are scattered on top, some dehydrated, some still containing the power of growth, all exhumed for consumption. Strands of LED lights embedded in pools of clear resin, ‘light spills’ powered by visible battery packs with brass casts of domestic light switch plates on top. To one side, the outline of a lampshade of welded steel rod appears to have fungal growths, sprouting burnt matches cast in brass. Its apparent companion, a welded steel stand, supports a floating human torso, a glazed ceramic bust formed by piling ropes of clay into a figurative mould.

As in her larger body of work, Intralocutor: can you trigger the switch?, 2018 digests cycles of organic growth and death, the production and consumption of power, and the mechanisms of energy distribution—both fabricated and naturally occurring. Goldberg’s light and energy sources and systems illustrate histories of consumption and expiration. Distinctions blur between human-made and naturally occurring entities, shimmering forward together.

Rochelle Goldberg received an MFA from the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, Bard College in Annandale-On-Hudson, USA and a BA from McGill University in Montreal. Significant solo exhibitions include Kunsthalle Lingen, Germany (2022); Miguel Abreu Gallery, New York (2020, 2017); Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver (2019); The Power Station, Dallas (2019); Casa Masaccio Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea, San Giovanni Valdarno, Italy (2018); GAMeC, Bergamo, Italy (2016); and SculptureCenter, Long Island City, USA (2016). She has also been included in numerous group exhibitions including at Gallerie delle Prigioni, Treviso, Italy (2022); Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, University of California (2021); Centre international d'art et du paysage de Vassivière, Beaumont-du-Lac, France (2021); Oakville Galleries, Canada (2019); A plus A Gallery, Venice (2018); Fondation d’Entreprise Ricard, Paris (2017); Whitney Museum, New York (2016); Dortmunder Kunstverein, Dortmund, Germany (2016); The Artist’s Institute, New York (2016); and Swiss Institute, New York (2015). She was Artist in Residence at The Chinati Foundation, Marfa, Texas (2018); previous residencies include Atelier Calder, Saché, France (2017); and Thun Ceramic Residency, Bolzano, Italy (2016). In 2018, she was awarded the Battaglia Foundry Sculpture Prize #03 by the Fonderia Artistica Battaglia, Milan and her work was selected for the first Frieze Sculpture at Rockefeller Center, New York (2019).