CCS Bard Announces 2008 Spring Exhibition Series

March 5, 2008

CCS Master’s Degree Candidates Curate Series of Nine Exhibitions—Opening March 16, April 13, and May 11— that Include Work by 46 Internationally Known Contemporary Artists

Concurrently, CCS First-Year Graduate Students Curate Second Thoughts, a response to Matthew Higgs’s Exhibitionism, including work from the Marieluise Hessel Collection by more than 70 Artists

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—This spring, CCS Bard presents a series of nine exhibitions at the CCS Galleries, curated by second-year students in its graduate program in curatorial studies, including work by 46 internationally known contemporary artists. These exhibitions are the culmination of the students’ work for the master’s degree. Concurrently on view with these exhibitions in the CCS Bard Hessel Museum of Art is Second Thoughts, a response to Matthew Higgs’s Exhibitionism: An Exhibition of Exhibitions of Works from the Marieluise Hessel Collection, featuring works by more than 70 artists.

The CCS Galleries and Hessel Museum of Art at Bard College are open Wednesdays through Sundays from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. All CCS Bard exhibitions and public programs are free and open to the public. Transportation to and from New York City for the exhibition openings—March 16, April 13, and May 11—is available without charge, via a chartered bus. Reservations in advance are required; call 845.758.7598 or e-mail

The first series of three exhibitions opens on Sunday, March 16, with a reception from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., and is on view through Sunday, March 30. The exhibitions are: Countdown, including work by Urs Fischer, Jamie Isenstein, Kris Martin, Roman Signer, and Jordan Wolfson, curated by Vincenzo de Bellis; Grounds for Progress, including work by Gemma Pardo, Aura Rosenberg, and Lisa Sanditz, curated by Lauren Wolk; and Recasting Site: Robert de Saint Phalle, Roe Ethridge, Mary Lucier, and Robert Smithson, curated by Terri C. Smith.

The second series of three exhibitions opens on Sunday, April 13, with a reception from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., and is on view through Sunday, April 27. The exhibitions are: Another Time, including work by Chen Chieh-jen, Tacita Dean, and Peter Hutton, curated by Milena Hoegsberg; (loverboy), sleep, shatter, handheld bird, including works by Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Rodney Graham, Barry Le Va, and Charles Ray, curated by Daniel Byers; and Under the Influence, including work by John Baldessari, Jen DeNike, Nancy Holt, Tim Jackson, Joan Jonas, David Jones, Jill Magid, Rachel Mason, Michele O’Marah, and Robert Smithson, curated by Anat Ebgi.

The final series of three exhibitions opens on Sunday, May 11, with a reception from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., and is on view throughSunday, May 25. The exhibitions are: Modernism: On and Off the Grid, with works by Martin Beck, VALIE EXPORT, Dan Graham, Dorit Margreiter, and Superstudio, curated by Niko Vicario; Act Out, including work by Vito Acconci, Cheryl Donegan, Mike Kelley, Paul McCarthy, Sturtevant, and Hannah Wilke, curated by Tyler Emerson-Dorsch; and Degrees North: Six Artists and the Icelandic Landscape, including work by Birgir Andrésson, Douwe Jan Bakker, Hreinn Friðfinnsson, Kristján Guðmundsson, Sigurður Guðmundsson, and Magnús Pálsson, curated by Nicole Pollentier.

Second Thoughts, curated by 14 first-year graduate students at the Center for Curatorial Studies, presents exhibition as revision. It is a direct response to Exhibitionism (October 20, 2007 – February 3, 2008), a series of autonomous and idiosyncratic micro-exhibitions curated by Matthew Higgs for each of the 16 galleries in the Hessel Museum. Second Thoughts,organized in three phases, is on view concurrently with the master’s degree thesis exhibitions (March 16–30, April 13–27, and May 11–25).

These exhibitions were made possible with support from the Rebecca and Martin Eisenberg Student Exhibition Fund; Mitzi and Warren Eisenberg; the Audrey and Sydney Irmas Charitable Foundation; Patrons, Supporters, and Friends of the Center for Curatorial Studies; and by the Center’s annual benefit for student scholarships and exhibitions. Additional support for the spring exhibitions has been provided by the Monique Beudert Fund.


Center for Curatorial Studies and Hessel Museum of Art
The Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College (CCS Bard) is an exhibition and research center dedicated to the study of art and exhibition practices from the 1960s to the present day. The Center’s graduate program is specifically designed to deepen students’ understanding of the intellectual and practical tasks of curating exhibitions of contemporary art, particularly in the complex social and cultural situations of present-day arts institutions. With more than 9,500 square feet of gallery space and an extensive library and curatorial archive, CCS Bard offers students intellectual grounding and actual experience within a museum.

In November 2006, CCS Bard inaugurated the Hessel Museum of Art, a new 17,000-square-foot building for exhibitions curated from the Marieluise Hessel Collection of more than 1,700 contemporary works. The new museum features intimate rooms encircling two large central galleries, and is scaled so that approximately 10 to 15 percent of the collection can be shown at any one time. The Hessel Museum extends the reach of the CCS Bard exhibition program, providing a place to test out the possibilities for exhibition making, using the remarkable resources of the collection as a whole.


CCS Bard Spring Thesis Exhibitions—Series One
March 16–30, 2008
CCS Galleries, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York

Opening reception Sunday, March 16, 1:00–4:00 p.m.

Artists: Urs Fischer, Jamie Isenstein, Kris Martin, Roman Signer, and Jordan Wolfson

Curator: Vincenzo de Bellis
brings together five sculpture-based artworks by Urs Fischer, Jamie Isenstein, Kris Martin, Roman Signer, and Jordan Wolfson that focus on their process of decay and disappearance. It presents works in which an “action”—either internal (such as the degradation of the materials) or external (when outside sources are catalysts for change) —will inevitably change the form of the works and cause their ineluctable demise. The works are either composed of organic materials or destined to decay (or otherwise perish) due to processes and conceptualizations that overtly address time, chance, beginnings and endings, ethics and commerce, production and consumption. These works have a life of their own beyond that of their makers, artists who cannot fully determine their progress, or prolong or safeguard their existence. A pear and an apple screwed together and hung from the ceiling by a nylon cord introduce the public to the exhibition space: Urs Fischer’s Untitled, one of the most representative and iconic works by the Swiss artist. The organic element of the fruit composes a sculpture that will decay within days. Left in the exhibition space, the small sculpture is, in fact, submitted to the effects of the natural mutability of organic components from which it is made, changing its form and shape throughout the exhibition. Roman Signer’s Sand Column is composed of eight to twelve buckets of sand that are stacked on top of on another like a column. The lowest bucket has a tiny hole in its side, approximately 10mm in diameter. Some sand leaks through it, and the column will thus become slanted and eventually fall over. Jordan Wolfson’s Dreaming of the Dream of the Dream is 16mm film in which isolated clips of water from animated cartoons are organized as if in a condensed day cycle. The work is meant to be played during all exhibition hours, causing the image on the film itself to degrade slowly into nothingness. Once the image on the film has completely vanished or the film-stock has broken apart, the artwork will no longer exist. Jamie Isenstein’s Inside Out Winter Hat Dance is composed of 300 pounds of ice piled in a cone shape with a top hat resting at its crown. During the course of days, the ice eventually melts, disappearing completely. The viewer is in the presence of a lifeless performance, played out by a figure whose capacity for animated physicality is indicated by the bare accoutrement of a top hat, which gradually descends when the ice melts. Kris Martin’s 100 Years takes the form of a gold-plated steel ball. The shiny and perfect orb contains a mechanism of a bomb that will explode in a century. The object’s beauty hides the obscure and disturbing nature of the work. The feeling of black humor, born of the artist’s decision to delay the fate of his work so that his contemporaries could never witness this event, is nevertheless linked to a feeling of imminent catastrophe and violence.

Grounds for Progress
Artists: Gemma Pardo, Aura Rosenberg, and Lisa Sanditz

Curator: Lauren Wolk
Works by three artists in different mediums focus on depictions of landscape as the canvas, surface, or ground on which is registered the complexity, ambiguity, and irrationality of the unfolding of history. Lisa Sanditz’s large-scale, brilliantly colored paintings from the series Special Economic Zone portray her highly interpretive vision of nature-turned-factory: pearl harvesting fields in China. The canvases invite us to consider pearls, not as discreet luxury goods, but as the fulcrum between the concrete world of things and the larger mechanism of interlocking socioeconomic systems. Images of waterside industrial sites reveal landscapes that transform entirely through an almost imperceptible shifting in Gemma Pardo’s video pieces Congo 1880 andUntitled 1900. Iconic factories that loom, materialize, and disappear; ambiguously historical titles; and her treatment of time as nonsynchronous, reveal Pardo’s approach to site as a field of confluence between the forces of historical subjectivity. Aura Rosenberg’s photomontages from the series Angel of History are digital composites of disparate images culled from the photographic mega-archive of visual culture. One image juxtaposes the steel mound of wreckage that was the World Trade Center, aping a fragile house of bones constructed by a family of prehistoric humans pictured nearby. Each photomontage is constructed around an image of an angel that introduces a Benjaminian concept of history, questioning the empirical logic of historical optics, and invoking the possibility of redemption in the web of a history that is an ever-expanding constellation of fragments.

Recasting Site: Robert de Saint Phalle, Roe Ethridge, Mary Lucier, and Robert Smithson
Curator: Terri C. Smith

Recasting Site: Robert de Saint Phalle, Roe Ethridge, Mary Lucier, and Robert Smithson
encourages a sense of discovery. Media such as photography, speech, video, and sculpture are used to transform, mimic, and coax. Works by Robert Smithson (1938–1973) and Mary Lucier (b. 1944) transfer concerns of Minimalist sculptors and composers, respectively, to the realms of landscape and architecture. Smithson is represented by his 1972 slide show and lecture titled Hotel Palenque. In it he narrates a virtual tour of a hotel in the Yucatan that is simultaneously under construction and being torn down, questioning assumptions about the site’s banality and the neighboring Mayan ruins’ preciousness. Mary Lucier contributes four woks dating from 1969–96. The earliest piece, I Am Sitting in a Room (1969), is a slide-and-sound installation created with composer Alvin Lucier, where duplication of analogue, audio recordings, and Polaroid photographs compromise media integrity. As sound and image falter, new compositions arise, changing the photograph of and sounds from a domestic interior into a galaxy of musical feedback and glowing images of black-and-white abstraction. Roe Ethridge (b. 1969) shows eight photographs (2005–07) derived from previously dismissed Polaroids of everyday surroundings such as a black bag in his studio. Ethridge scans the Polaroid, uses the computer to accentuate the fingerprints and cracks from its mishandling, and then makes a 24-by-30-inch C-print. The surface flaws of the Polaroid become the print’s foreground, adding compositional elements and referencing the absent original. In one of Robert de Saint Phalle’s (b.1978) three sculptures, he begins with a found rusty barrel, and then inserts a colorful, amorphous form made of automobile foam and auto paint. Its underside is modeled after the barrel’s interior and its flat dorsal side is marred with a baseball-size blister. Through mimicking and scarring, de Saint Phalle recasts the found object’s meaning, from industrial detritus to one imperfect skin housing another.

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CCS Bard Spring Thesis Exhibitions—Series Two
April 13–27, 2008
CCS Galleries, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York

Opening reception Sunday, April 13, 1:00–4:00 p.m.

Another Time
Arists: Chen Chieh-jen, Tacita Dean, and Peter Hutton
Curator: Milena Hoegsberg

Another Time
brings together Taiwanese artist Chen Chieh-jen’s Factory (2003), British artist Tacita Dean’s Kodak (2006), and American filmmaker and Bard professor Peter Hutton’s At Sea (2004–07). Through a shared poetic sensibility, the films register both a personal and a collective loss connected to notions of progress, linear history, technological advancement, and global economies. The near-obsolete industries on which these films center—a Taiwanese textile factory, a 16mm film factory, and the seafaring industry—are signatures of the past as it bears on the present. In all three films, the passing of time takes on an almost physical presence—achieved through very still images, long takes and, in the case of At Sea and Factory, the absence of sound. Although the films do not manipulate time, their pace seems out of sync with the accelerated speed of the world and the speed at which we are used to encountering images. Each film thus encourages reflection on the possibility of a different experience of time—a time module other than the “on the clock” time of factory labor and the “clock time” that dominates contemporary life. The exhibition seeks to reinforce the contemplative viewing mode that the films themselves foster. Each work occupies its own gallery space so that viewers may watch the films from beginning to end. However, to distinguish the gallery space from a cinematic presentation, each projection is given its own distinct physical presence, and placed in such a way that they allow viewers to fluidly transition and carry with them impressions from one film to the next.

(loverboy), sleep, shatter, handheld bird
Artists: Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Rodney Graham, Barry Le Va, and Charles Ray

Curator: Daniel Byers
(loverboy), sleep, shatter, handheld bird
brings together three sculptures and a video: “Untitled” (Loverboy) (1989), by Felix Gonzalez-Torres; Halcion Sleep (1994), by Rodney Graham; a site-specific variation of the work last titled One Edge, Two Corners: On Center Shattered (Within the Series of Layered Pattern Acts) (1968/2008), by Barry Le Va; and Handheld Bird (2006), by Charles Ray. Brought together through a series of affective relationships, each work gives corporeal dimension to a state of fragile temporality and heightened sensitivity. With restrained material means but an almost hallucinogenic presence, the works make explicit the shifting boundaries and charged space of encounter between bodies, materials, and interior and exterior spaces.

Under the Influence
Artists: John Baldessari, Jen DeNike, Nancy Holt, Tim Jackson, Joan Jonas, David Jones , Jill Magid, Rachel Mason, Michele O’Marah, and Robert Smithson

Curator: Anat Ebgi
In every relationship—be it lover, student, teacher, friend, colleague—there exists a tension, a psychological push-pull, a subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) tug-of-war between dominance and submission. These frictions can surface under stress, but also amidst seemingly playful moments. Under the Influence considers what happens when this aspect of life enters the art-making process. This exhibition seeks to explore the complex undertones when making a work with intimates. John Baldessari uses his student Ed Henderson to make the video Ed Henderson Suggests Sound Tracks for Photographs, asking Henderson to find sound tracks for photographs the artist selects and describes verbally. In Swamp, Robert Smithson directs his wife, Nancy Holt, through the unstable terrain of the New Jersey Meadowlands as Holt records with a camera, and Smithson, a sound recorder. Joan Jonas collaborates with dancer friends on her film Wind (shot and edited by Peter Campus) on a blustery beach on Long Island in the dead of winter. Four works made within the past two years continue this practice: Jen DeNike’s Flag Girlscasts six female friends as performers whom she instructs to wrap and then unwrap themselves in individual colonial American flags and descend nude from a stage. Tim Jackson, David Jones, and Michele O’Marah’s pastiche supernatural thrillerFaustus’s Children features privileged college friends who enter into an evil murder pact; Jill Magid seduces and subsequently manipulates the Dutch Secret Service in her installation, I Can Burn Your Face; and Rachel Mason casts herself and recruits friends to produce a music album, live performances, and the sculptural figurines that make up her politically charged Ambassadors.

Performances during the opening reception on April 13 will include Rachel Mason presenting a selection of songs from the Ambassadors album in full costume; snowboots, Tyler Burba and Carlton DeWoody, whose songs are “fun and sad, experimental and pop, combining classical, toy, and world instruments with a hook you can believe in”; Arctic Circle, Jen DeNike and snowboots, who are “informed and inspired by the prevailing winds” and whose “sound is minimalistical.”

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CCS Bard Spring Thesis Exhibitions—Series Three
May 11–25, 2008

Opening reception Sunday, May 11, 1:00–4:00 p.m.
CCS Galleries, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York

Modernism: On and Off the Grid
Artists: Martin Beck, VALIE EXPORT, Dan Graham, Dorit Margreiter, and Superstudio
Curator: Niko Vicario

The exhibition Modernism: On and Off the Grid brings together works by four artists and one architectural collective engaged with the legacy of Modernist architecture and design. Martin Beck, VALIE EXPORT, Dan Graham, Dorit Margreiter, and the architecture collective Superstudio work variously in film, video, photography, sculpture, and across and between media. The works in this exhibition—the earliest made in the early 1970s and the most recent completed in 2007—replicate, modify, and critique Modernist aesthetics, illuminating form’s relationship to history, subjectivity, and social space.

Act Out
Artists: Vito Acconci, Cheryl Donegan, Mike Kelley, Paul McCarthy, Sturtevant, and Hannah Wilke
Curator: Tyler Emerson-Dorsch

Act Out
presents video works by six artists who use the body to attract and repel, creating a charged space between the virtual space they occupy and that of the viewer. To carve out a space for themselves, the artists challenge the critical reception of iconic works, shifting the attention from the precedent to their performances. Emblematic of this is Mike Kelley and Paul McCarthy’sFresh Acconci (1995), which takes on several of Vito Acconci’s video works from the early 1970s. The artists mock not Acconci so much as young artists’ conception of him in the early 1990s. The inclusion of Acconci’s Pryings (1971) and Theme Song(1973) in Act Out allows these works to push back at the work that seeks to undermine them. A performer uses props with multiple, subversive significations, as with the milky liquid—mother’s milk, man’s seed, cow’s milk—that Cheryl Donegan sucks and spits in her video Head (1993). Acting out can also mean trying on different personas, as is the case in Sturtevant’s video installation Dark Threat of Absence (2002), in which she “repeats” McCarthy’s caricature of Willem de Kooning in his workPainter (1995). While Sturtevant reenacts McCarthy’s performance (in which he sits absentmindedly hacking at his finger while humming), she imbues the gesture with a different emotion—that of someone present in their pain. In her video performanceThrough the Large Glass (1976), Hannah Wilke treats Marcel Duchamp’s The Large Glass (1915–23) as a window through which she captures the viewer’s fascinated (and horrified) gaze, by performing a slow striptease which imitates the forms in Duchamp’s piece. McCarthy, Kelley, Sturtevant and Wilke undermine the control which the referenced artworks exert on them. InPinocchio Pipenose Household Dilemma (1994), the artwork controls the viewer: in order to enter the work, the viewer must put on the same costume as the performer. Brought together, these disparate works, ranging from 1971 to 2002, form connections between the works that are current and intuitive, rather than married to an art historical canon.

Degrees North: Six Artists and the Icelandic Landscape
Artists: Birgir Andrésson, Douwe Jan Bakker, Hreinn Friðfinnsson, Kristján Guðmundsson, Sigurður Guðmundsson, and Magnús Pálsson
Curator: Nicole Pollentier

With international artists increasingly looking to Iceland as a source of inspiration for their work, and Icelandic artists increasingly being shown internationally, Degrees North brings the work of six of the most influential artists in the history of Icelandic art to an American audience. Working in the mode of what has been called “poetic Conceptualism,” these artists provide new perspectives within the global Conceptual narrative, utilizing the Icelandic landscape, language, and culture as their source material. This exhibition examines in-depth the work of a community of artists—Birgir Andrésson (1955–2007), Douwe Jan Bakker (1943–1997), Hreinn Friðfinnsson (b. 1943), Kristján Guðmundsson (b. 1941), Sigurður Guðmundsson (b. 1942), and Magnús Pálsson (b. 1929)—artists who have worked in conversation with one another over a long span of years (both in Iceland and abroad, specifically, in the Netherlands), often tackling similar concerns from various unique perspectives. All of these artists have shown extensively in Europe and Scandinavia, but their work is relatively unknown in the United States.

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Second Thoughts
March 16–30, April 13–27, and May 11–25, 2008
Hessel Museum of Art, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York

Opening receptions:     Sunday, March 16, 1:00–4:00 p.m.

Sunday, April 13, 1:00–4:00 p.m.

Sunday, May 11, 1:00–4:00 p.m.

Artists: Rita Ackermann, David Altmejd, Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Laurie Anderson, Carl Andre, John Baldessari, Bernd & Hilla Becher, Robert Beck, John Bock, Alighiero e Boetti, Cosima von Bonin, Jonathan Borofsky, David Bunn, Gary Burnley, Scott Burton, John Cage, Paul Chan, Cecelia Condit, John Currin, Marcelline Delbecq, Donna Dennis, Carroll Dunham, Valie Export, Fischli and Weiss, Saul Fletcher, Isa Genzken, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Nancy Graves, Philip Guston, Rachel Harrison, Rachel Harrison, Matthew Higgs, Gary Hill, , Thomas Hirschhorn, Desiree Holman, Jamie Isenstein, Valerie Jaudon, Donald Judd, Martin Kippenberger, W. Imi Knoebel, Christopher Knowles, Joseph Kosuth, Robert Kushner, Carter Kustera, Sean Landers, Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt, Louise Lawler, Sol LeWitt, Ardele Lister, Robert Longo, Kim MacConnel, Robert Mangold, Robert Mapplethorpe, Virgil Marti, Martina Mullaney, Allan McCollum, Shana Moulton, Dennis Oppenheim, Gabriel Orozco, Blinky Palermo, Jorge Pardo, A. R. Penck, Adrian Piper, Seth Price, Robin Rhode, Tom Roda, Peter Saul, Ilene Segalove, Cindy Sherman, Ned Smyth, Rosemarie Trockel, Nicola Tyson, Kelley Walker, Joe Zucker

Curators: Mireille Bourgeois, Summer Guthery, Anaïs Lellouche, Christina Linden, Katerina Llanes, Gene McHugh, Fionn Meade, Kate Menconeri, Zeynep Öz, Marion Ritter, Bartholomew Ryan, Hajnalka Somogyi, Wendy Vogel, and Jess Wilcox

Second Thoughts presents exhibition as revision. Curated by 14 first-year graduate students at the Center for Curatorial Studies, it is a direct response to Exhibitionism (October 20, 2007 – February 3, 2008), a series of autonomous and idiosyncratic micro-exhibitions that were curated by Matthew Higgs for each of the 16 galleries in the Hessel Museum of Art. By engaging amplification, erasure, extension, and redress, Second Thoughts seeks to alter the strategies utilized by Higgs in Exhibitionism to progressively revise the entire exhibition.

In the normal process of exhibition making there is no time for second thoughts; the exhibition is struggled over, installed, and the institution then moves on. Beginning March 16, three divergent but overlapping approaches to intervention will be made in response to Matthew Higgs’s Exhibitionism: material and physical interventions in the Museum using the Hessel Collection; temporal interventions and responses made via artist commission and performance; and discursive interventions in the form of ongoing dialogues and a panel discussion. Unfolding over the duration of Second Thoughts, nearly all of the galleries in Exhibitionism will present new configurations of works from the Hessel Collection. This fresh series of exhibitions turns over and updates the galleries with revisions ranging from the subtle to the wholesale.

French artist Marcelline Delbecq (b. 1977) contributes a new work for Second Thoughts that will interact with the preceding exhibition, Exhibitionism, thus incorporating the history of the site into the structure of her work. Delbecq creates multilayered objects and installations that utilize text as a foundation for immersive environments where creative writing is animated via photographic and sound-art compositions. Additionally, New York–based artist Jaime Isenstein (b. 1975)—whose video work was recently brought into the Hessel Collection—will present a durational performance in the Museum (April 13, 1:00–4:00 p.m.) where she transforms herself into the arms and legs of a wingback chair, further exploring her interests in magic acts and other old-time entertainments.

A map will be made available at the Hessel Museum to serve as a guide to revisions made, and an online publication elaborating upon specific galleries and the curatorial process of Second Thoughts can be found at