JEANNE SILVERTHORNE: Sculpture, Studio and Extinction

Critical Theory and the Arts is fortunate to have with us in 2014-2015, as our first artist-in-residence, Jeanne Silverthorne whose own work as a sculptor has long and centrally been concerned with the possibility of several extinctions: “post-studio” production and social media challenge many of the fundamental assumptions of a private practice including notions of interiority, the creative potential of some degree of isolation, intimacy and the presupposition of an immediate, individual relationship with a viewer—all realities that are now withering away. Is there a future for studio work; is there a way to acknowledge the new realities that are supplanting it without jettisoning the studio? And, of all that is threatened along with what has historically been the figure and work of an artist, Silverthorne’s practice is alert to the recognition that art, which is now capable of mobilizing unprecedented forces of manufacture, has itself become complicitous in the production of a world-wide carbon footprint that presages environmental extinction.