Director, Sensory Ethnography Lab (SEL); Director, Film Study Center
Co-Director of Graduate Studies, Critical Media Practice; Interim Chair, Department of Visual and Environmental Studies, Fall 2018
Castaing-Taylor is an anthropologist whose work conjugates art's negative capability with an ethnographic attachment to the flux of life and a political engagement with the pressing ecological challenges of our day. His work is in the permanent collection of New York's Museum of Modern Art and the British Museum, and has been exhibited at Venice Biennale (2010, 2017), documenta 14, Tate, Centre Pompidou, Whitney Museum of American Art, Berlin Kunsthalle, Shanghai Biennale (2014), Aichi Triennale (2017), PS1, MoMA, MASS MoCA, MAMM Medellín, Whitechapel Gallery, and London's Institute of Contemporary Arts. His films and videos have screened at Berlin, Locarno, New York, Toronto, Venice and other film festivals. His works include Sweetgrass (2009, with Ilisa Barbash), a film that offers an unsentimental elegy at once to the American West and to the 10,000 years of uneasy accommodation between post-Paleolithic humans and animals, and Canst Thou Draw Out Leviathan with a Hook? (2012—2016, with Verena Paravel), a four-part project about humanity and the sea, and our plundering of marine resources. Leviathan (2012), Still Life/ Nature Morte (2014) and eleven of his other works were included in the 2014 Whitney Biennial. In 2015, together with Ernst Karel and Verena Paravel, he completed the installation Ah humanity!, which takes the 3/11/11 tsunami and nuclear disaster in Fukushima as its point of departure and reflects on the fragility and folly of humanity in the age of the so-called Anthropocene. It has been installed at the French National Archives at the Hôtel de Soubise in Paris and at the Science Center at Harvard. His most recent works, commissioned by documenta 14, are somniloquies (2017, with Paravel), Commensal (2017, with Paravel), and Caniba (2017-2018, with Paravel).
Image: Ernst Karel, Véréna Paravel, Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Ah humanity! (2016).