International Sculpture Center
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Sculpture cover


January/February 2016
Vol. 35 No. 1

A publication of the
International Sculpture Center
*Read the full article online!
Surrendering to the Common Life: A Conversation with Cristina Rodrigues
by Rajesh Punj
Enlightenment I, 2014. In situ, Cristina Rodrigues’s works read like fanciful relics. Lavishing baroque details over ordinary objects, she masterfully mixes virtuosity with the commonplace. Adventures into the sublime, her installations are as universal in their significance as they are local in their inspiration, purposefully touching the lives of everyone involved. Rodrigues’s practice is governed by more than simple aesthetics, hovering between social ethnography, anthropology, and the ideals of sustainability. By meticulously stitching disciplines into a historical context, she produces living testaments to individual lives in an attempt to bridge age-old narratives and new cultural appraisals—a task that continues beyond her presence in what she describes as the “ultimate act of democracy” for art. Her installations frequently celebrate the role of women as keepers of cultural tradition, bringing nearly forgotten cultural wealth to the fore by lending an artistic identity to functional and sometimes obsolete objects.
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Enlightenment I, 2014. Iron, plastic paint, glass beads, crystals, and ceramics, 2.1 x 1.8 meters. View of installation at Manchester Cathedral, England.

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