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Talking to Death: An Allegory for Sculpture

Trevor Gould

Exposition du Cairn centre d'Art Alpes de Haute Provence. Au musée Promenade de Digne les Bains de juin à Septembre 2004. © Eric RAZ

Courtesy: Cairn Centre d'art


Trevor Gould born in Johannesburg South Africa lives and works in Montréal where he is a professor in sculpture at Concordia University since 1989. He was also a Stiftungs Professor in 2003 at the Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach am Main, Germany. Gould has a diploma in art from the Johannesburg College of Art, a degree in Sociology from the University of South Africa and an MA on contemporary Canadian Sculpture from Institute of Canadian Studies, Carlton University Ottawa.

The work of Gould is shown nationally as well as internationally: Museum of Contemporary Art Montréal, (2012, 2007 and 1998), at the XIII Biennale Internationale di Sculptura di Carrrara, Italy (2007) ), at the Casino du Luxembourg (2006), the National museum of Fine Arts Québec, Québec (2005), Musée Gassendi Digne-les-Bains France (2004), the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (2001), the Biennale de Montréal (1998), the Johannesburg Biennale (1995). Gould has realized public works in Canada (1993), in Germany (2008 et 2006) and recently in France le Pavillon d’Hannibal inaugurated in Le Vernet, Provence. His work is represented in many museum and corporate collections in Canada, Poland, Italy, France and Germany.


Sculpture to my way of thinking is material moved through mind. Sculpture/installation (in general) has the unique presence of being in the world while simultaneously originating from the world. It seems to me it is this notion of idea and mediation through material that activates my process. It defines a world-view and makes ideas real. My process is neither of the readymade nor the many inflections of the terms around manufactured objects re-purposing up-scaling etc. I don’t select nor do I have an interest in modifying objects that exist around me. My thinking in my process is directed towards the image, which is yet to exist, and the material follows along its dictates.

Standing between the two poles of making and thinking, contemplation and action is always the presentation of material and it is this material that links sculpture as idea to the world. This of course is a problem (or condition) of sculpture since it is apparent that material can mean many things, including the illusiveness of immateriality outside of its consistency as matter. My process involves the question of how sculpture can mean something and how it speaks to the world while taking its place alongside other objects in the world.