August 2019

Gordon Hall: Artist Talk

Mercurial States

Gordon Hall describes their sculptural works as “extremely precise objects of ambiguous use,” evoking their ability to convey both utilitarian objecthood and the possibility of more poetic and sensual human interactions. [1]1
Gordon Hall, “Extremely Precise Objects of Ambiguous Use,” in Over-beliefs: Gordon Hall Collected Writing, 2011–2018, ed. Spencer Byrne-Seres (Portland, OR: Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, 2019), 15.
In this lecture, they present their work through the lens of a series of material and conceptual rubrics, including “platforms,” “shadows,” and “surfaces,” as well as “object lessons” and “what a body can do.” Formally, Hall’s sculpture echoes minimalism yet directs its phenomenological interests toward the expanded corporeal imaginaries of the nontraditionally gendered body. It is often accompanied by abstract gestural performances, sometimes performed by Hall, who is a trained dancer. Encompassing their sculpture, performance, and writing, the lecture unfolds how Hall “cares” for objects in ways that offer us a renewed experience of the body “so that in the moments we encounter one another, we are actually able to see differently than the way we have been taught.” [2]2
Gordon Hall, “Reading Things: On Sculpture, Gender and Relearning How to See,” in Over-beliefs, 10.
The lecture took place as part of the IMFA Visiting Artist series at the Intermedia graduate program at the University Maine in 2015.

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