Rochelle Goldberg’s (*1984 in Vancouver, Canada; lives in New York, USA) quasi-scenic installations combine disparate materials and elements such as celery tubers, metal fish skeletons, light bands, carpets, water, and ceramic sculptures with snakeskin-like surfaces. The resulting habitats make the ecological, social and cultural relationships of these different entities the subject of discussion and haptically and conceptually tell of the elasticity of their constructed demarcations from one another. Chia seeds grow and then wither on carpets. Through their formal language, the ceramic sculptures invite us to reflect on the relationship between clay and the hands that shape it as well as the emergence of bodies. This cultivation plays an ambiguous role in the cycles of life and decay that Goldberg invokes in her works. They are processes of both consumption and utilisation, and the human hand plays a role in them, not only in the sculptural sense. The fact that Goldberg uses chia seeds, mineral oil and light as materials in her works, along with the clay from which she primarily forms bodies and body parts, opens up narrative relationships between energy and power. Through sculptures of figures such as Maria-Magdalena, the artist negotiates this relationship with reference to a French group of resistance fighters in the 18th century and their stigmatisation as the so-called Pétroleuses, for example. However, she also questions the supposed singularity of the human subject with regard to the way in which it deals with the natural environment. Goldberg uses material transformation processes to create a space for ‘interaction’, as she refers to the process of mutual imprinting and expression.
Rochelle Goldberg completed her bachelor’s degree at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, in 2006 and her Master of Fine Arts at Bard College, Annadale-On-Hudson (New York),USA in 2014. Goldberg has had numerous solo exhibitions, including shows at the Miguel Abreu Gallery in New York, USA; GAMeC in Bergamo, Italy; Parisian Laundry in Montreal, Canada; SculptureCenter in Long Island City (New York), USA; Quark Prize in Geneva, Switzerland, and the David Peterson Gallery in Minneapolis (Minnesota) USA. Her work has also been shown in various group exhibitions such as Art Basel, Switzerland, the Okayama Art Summit in Japan, The Whitney Museum, New York, USA, and many others.