Nicole Herbert disrupts the routine experience of the mundane by drawing attention to context and experimenting with materials and scale. In the gallery setting of her split installation Material Permutations, she first measured the walls as well as the hidden and visible structural supports. She then applied various ratios to build corners, a door, and I-beams from paper, papier maché, Plexiglas, cardboard, wire, wood, concrete, and plaster, and filled the empty white space. In the building’s café, she juxtaposed along a window ledge an actual cup and bottle with cast, fabricated and reflected simulacra according to material and means of production, letting viewers make their own arrangements. Although her underlying systems remained elusive, her interventions succeeded in triggering flashes of understanding into the contingency of the lived environment.
Sarah Tanguy, Curator
ART in Embassies Program, and independent curator and critic
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