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Conceptual artists Simon Starling, awarded a Turner Prize, speaks about his current work on October 30, 2009.


POUGHKEEPSIE, NY-Simon Starling, a conceptual artist and winner of the Tate Gallery's 2005 Turner Prize for contemporary art, will discuss his work in a lecture on Friday, October 30. Free and open to the public, the program will begin at 5:30pm in Taylor Hall (Room 203).

Starling is most famous for his installations, often created from wood, metal, and various flora and fauna. He is known for journeying with the installations he makes and raising questions about the relationship between nature and technology, between man's mechanical creations and nature's greater efficiency.

In 2004, in what became known as the "Tabernas Desert Run," Starling made a make-shift motorbike, adding a fuel cell to a bicycle, and crossed Spain's Tabernas desert on it. With the water waste the bicycle created during the journey, Starling painted a watercolor of a cactus he saw along the journey across Europe's only desert. In his 2005 work Shedboatshed (Mobile Architecture No 2), Starling turned a wooden shed into a boat. He loaded the leftover debris from the shed onto the ‘Weidling' (a local type of boat) before sailing down the Rhine in it. Upon arriving at a museum in Basel, he recreated the shed that the boat was constructed from--the cuts in the walls corresponded to the contours of the former boat.

In an interview with The Guardian, Starling answered questions about the importance of a back-story to his work, including if it was the back-story that gives the work meaning? Starling contended that one doesn't need to know the back-story of conceptual art to appreciate it. "Some people will come to the work with a lot of knowledge, some not. That's true of any work of art. That's as true of a painting by Titian as it is of any conceptual work."

Simon Starling solo exhibitions have been seen around the world, from Glasgow to Barcelona to New York's Guggenheim Museum. In 2003, he represented Scotland at the 50th Venice Biennial and, in 2004, he was short-listed for the Guggenheim's Hugo Boss Prize. Starling is a Professor of Fine Arts at the Städelschule in Frankfurt, and currently lives in Copenhagen.

This lecture is presented by the Art Department at Vassar.

Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations or information on accessibility should contact Campus Activities Office at (845) 437-5370. Without sufficient notice, appropriate space and/or assistance may not be available. Directions to the Vassar campus are available online at www.vassar.edu/directions.

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Friday, October 23, 2009