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CCS Bard Presents Lisi Raskin’s “Mobile Observation (Transmitting and Receiving) Station”

March 26, 2008

Commissioned as part of CCS Bard’s new Artist-in-Residence Program, this installation in progress is on view daily through September 7

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College presents Mobile Observation (Transmitting and Receiving) Station, a new commission by Lisi Raskin, CCS Bard’s first artist-in-residence. 

Lisi Raskin, a Brooklyn-based artist, often juxtaposes a highly personal worldview with a factual situation that has palpable political implications. Over the past five years, she has been investigating land use and its relationship to the architecture of war. For her residency at CCS Bard, Raskin will take a custom van on a monthlong tour of the American West, visiting historic sites of nuclear testing and development.

Since 1943, the American landscape has played a critical role in the race to build the atomic bomb. The land has hosted the testing of nuclear weapons and housed the fleet of intercontinental ballistic missiles that could be activated at a moment’s notice during the cold war. Raskin’s itinerary for this project will track a selection of sites that range in function from atomic laboratories to underground missile silos and test sites. Locations to be toured by the artist may include, but are not limited to, the Titan Missile Museum in Tucson, Arizona; Wendover Air Force Base in Wendover, Utah; Nevada test sites in Las Vegas; and in New Mexico, White Sands Missile Range and Trinity Site, the location of the world’s first atomic blast.

“The perimeters of Mobile Observation Station,” Raskin writes,offer a slight departure from my usual process and an opportunity to deepen my relationship to my subject matter. The Mobile Observation Station is a roving work space equipped with the tools and materials I need for the project. This enables me to make artwork directly in the landscape through which I travel.”

Throughout her journey, Raskin will mail artworks and ephemera back to headquarters at the Center for Curatorial Studies, where they will be processed and displayed by CCS Bard graduate students in a post office/receiving station constructed specifically for the project. The entire Audrey and Sydney Irmas Atrium at CCS Bard has been reconfigured into a plywood bunker-cum-post-office, replete with satellite dish, artwork–receiving station, and an audio and video diary station that will be updated with intermittent transmissions from the field. The installation is on view daily through September 7.

Mobile Observation (Transmitting and Receiving) Station is a continuation of Mobile Observation Station: Command and Control, a new work commissioned by CCS Bard in February 2008 for the exhibition High Resolution, at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City.

The 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.