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Rachel Whiteread Symposium, Part 2: Three Halcyon Arts Lab Fellows Respond

Kelli Rae Adams, Tariq O’Meally, and Ada Pinkston, artists. Artist Rachel Whiteread has made casts and drawings for more than 30 years in an effort to define the space between positives and negatives, public and private, manufactured and hand-made objects—always with concision, intelligence, beauty, and power. At the National Gallery of Art, an unprecedented and comprehensive survey exhibition of Whiteread’s celebrated career introduces a new generation of audiences to her work, which addresses how we live. In these talks delivered as part of the symposium held on October 26, 2018, in conjunction with the exhibition, Halcyon Arts Lab Fellow Kelli Rae Adams reflected on her own burgeoning creative practice in relationship to that of Whiteread, examining the topics of material, surface, space, and society, and the formal as well as conceptual links among them. For artist and choreographer Tariq O’Meally, Rachel Whiteread's body of work brings to mind the intimacy of the body and its relationship to the permanent impermanence of death. In his talk during the Rachel Whiteread symposium, he discussed Whiteread’s practice and his own in pursuit of such questions as “How do we experience absence?” and “What lies within negative space?” Finally, artist Ada Pinkston conducts an examination of the poetics of space and the artistic will of Rachel Whiteread and other minimal and post-minimal public artworks. Pinkston’s lecture also considers the future aesthetics of public monuments and memorials.