Lucien Castaing-Taylor

Lucien Castaing-Taylor

Professor of Visual Arts and Anthropology
Director, Sensory Ethnography Lab (SEL); Director, Film Study Center
Co-Director of Graduate Studies, Critical Media Practice

Castaing-Taylor is an anthropologist whose work seeks to conjugate art's negative capability with an ethnographic attachment to the flux of life. 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, documenta, Tate, Centre Pompidou, MoMA, Whitney Museum of American Art, Berlin Kunsthalle, PS1, 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.

Castaing-Taylor’s 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. 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 disaster in Fukushima as its point of departure and reflects on the fragility and folly of humanity in the age of the 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 latest works, commissioned by documenta 14, are somniloquies (2017, with Paravel), Commensal (2017, with Paravel), and Caniba (2017, with Paravel).


Ernst Karel, Véréna Paravel, Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Ah humanity! (2016)

Image: Ernst Karel, Véréna Paravel, Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Ah humanity! (2016).