Inbal Strauss is a practice-led researcher based in London
BDes (Bezalel), MFA (Goldsmiths), DPhil (Oxford)
Trained as a product designer and subsequently as a sculptor, Inbal questions the traditional distinction between these
two creative modes of material production, which hinges on how closely they adhere to the modernist dictum
‘form follows function’.
Accordingly, through critical object-making, her practice explores questions of functionality, instrumentality, and
artefactual agency. It asks: How might contemporary art complicate the relationship between form and function? How might it jolt, twist, or accentuate a notion of function that goes beyond the notion of utility? How might it productively subvert the politics of labour and promote the perception of artistic production as a rational mode of visual and material production that does not follow means-end rationality?
Her quasi-functional objects, which play with the language of everyday objects yet are presented within a fine art exhibition setting, are designed to have no use-value, only ‘useless-value’. Straddling both registers, they resist neat subsumption into either the category of ‘art’ or of ‘design’, consequently urging their re-evaluation and negotiating the
binary oppositions between productive and ‘unproductive’ labour, usefulness and uselessness, utility and futility.