Inbal Strauss is a doctoral student at the Ruskin School of Art and Linacre College, University of Oxford.
Inbal’s research revolves around questions of objecthood, instrumentality, and artefactual agency under capitalist modernity. Provisionally titled "Form Unfollows Function: Subversions of Functionality in Avant-Garde Objects", her doctoral thesis asks: what is contained within historical, neo, and contemporary avant-garde objects that might pick, twist, accentuate a notion of function that goes beyond the notion of utility? Consulting works by, among others, Dadaist, Pop and Excessivist artists, the thesis examines how avant-gardist strategies and devices differ across art-historical moments, relative to the wider social, cultural, and economic processes that shape the conditions of artistic production. More specifically, it employs both practical and theoretical methodologies to examine how the affordances (actionable properties or implied uses) embodied in these objects, as well as the critical concerns underlying their designs, negotiate the binary opposition between utility and futility, thereby calling into question the modernist imperative that form follow function.
Inbal holds an MFA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths, University of London (2012), and a B.Des in Industrial Design from the Bezalel Academy of Art & Design, Jerusalem (2010). Her research is supported by the RSA Research Grant, the Inger Lawrence Award, the AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership, and the Kirsh Foundation.