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CCS Bard Master’s Degree Candidates Curate Series of Twelve Exhibitions and Projects—Opening February 7 and April 11—That Include Work by Over 40 Internationally Known Contemporary Artists

January 15, 2010

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – Beginning in February, the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College (CCS Bard) presents a series of 12 exhibitions and projects, curated by 14 second-year students, and including work by more than 40 leading and emerging contemporary artists at the CCS Bard Galleries and Library. Presented in two groups, these projects focus on diverse concepts and themes and represent an international body of artists working in a variety of mediums. These exhibitions are the culmination of the students’ work for the master’s degree. The CCS Bard Galleries and Hessel Museum of Art at Bard College are open Wednesday through Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. All CCS Bard exhibitions and public programs are free and open to the public. Limited free seating is available on a chartered bus that leaves from New York City for the February and April openings. The bus returns to New York City after the opening. Reservations are required; call 845.758.7598 or email ccs@bard.edu.

The first of two series of exhibitions opens on Sunday, February 7 and is on view through Sunday, March 21. The exhibitions are: Derangement : Dineo Seshee Bopape, Saul Fletcher, Hege Loenne, Jacek Malinowski, Dan Miller, Anna Ostoya, Mikolaj Szoska, curated by Michal JachulaThe Office for Parafictional Research Presents Headless: Work by Goldin+Senneby, curated by Ginny KollakOpen Score Variations, including works by Sanford Biggers, Lee Boroson, George Brecht, John Cage, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Paula Hayes, Lucy Lippard, Yoko Ono, Edward Ruscha, Xaviera Simmons, Allison Smith, Rirkrit Tiravanija, and La Monte Young, curated by Daniel MasonFor All The Wrong Reasons, including work by Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Clifford Borress, curated by Sohrab Mohebbi; and Remodeling Systems: Vlatka Horvat, Pablo Helguera & Alon Levin, curated by Yulia Tikhonova.

The second series of exhibitions opens on Sunday, April 11, with a reception from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., and is on view through Sunday, May 23. The exhibitions are: Living Modern including work by artists Heidrun Holzfeind and Damon Rich, and writer Niko Vicario, curated by Laura Barlow; Not Again, with work by Andrea van der Straeten, curated by Sarah Demeuse; SECOND COMINGa curatorial collaboration, including work by Nástio Mosquito, Thando Mama, Metapong, and Pablo Rasgado, curated by Gabi Ngcobo, Carlos E. Palacios, Andrea Torreblanca; Requires extra budget for lettuce, with work by Jacob Stewart-Halevy, curated by Mackenzie Schneider; The Bomb Ponds: Work by Vandy Rattana, curated by Francesca Sonara.

Two of the 12 projects will occur outside of the CCS Bard Galleries: How to Begin? Envisioning the Impact of Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, a publication and public discussion, including contributions by Regine Basha, Hassan Khan, Sohrab Mohebbi, Didem Özbek, and Sarah Rifky, curated by Özge Ersoy; and Up River, A Hudson River Expedition with artist Marie Lorenz, curated by Diana Stevenson.

Student-curated exhibitions and projects at CCS Bard are made possible with support from the Rebecca and Martin Eisenberg Student Exhibition Fund; the Mitzi and Warren Eisenberg Family Foundation; the Audrey and Sydney Irmas Charitable Foundation; the Board of Governors of the Center for Curatorial Studies, and by the Center’s Patrons, Supporters, and Friends. Additional support is provided by the Monique Beudert Award Fund. Special thanks to the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation.

For additional information, call 845-758-7598, e-mail ccs@bard.edu, or visit www.bard.edu/ccs.

The Center for Curatorial Studies and Hessel Museum of Art
The Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College (CCS Bard) is an exhibition, education, and research center dedicated to the study of art and curatorial practices from the 1960s to the present day. In addition to the CCS Bard Galleries and Hessel Museum of Art, the Center houses the Marieluise Hessel Collection, as well as an extensive library and curatorial archives that are accessible to the public. The Center’s two-year M.A. program in curatorial studies is specifically designed to deepen students’ understanding of the intellectual and practical tasks of curating contemporary art. Exhibitions are presented year-round in the CCS Bard Galleries and Hessel Museum of Art, providing students with the opportunity to work with world-renowned artists and curators. The exhibition program and the Hessel Collection also serve as the basis for a wide range of public programs and activities exploring art and its role in contemporary society.

CCS BARD UPCOMING THESIS EXHIBITIONS—GROUP ONE
February 7 – March 21, 2010

CCS BARD GALLERIES AND LIBRARY, ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, NEW YORK

 

Derangement: Dineo Seshee Bopape, Saul Fletcher, Hege Loenne, Jacek Malinowski, Dan Miller, Anna Ostoya, Mikolaj Szoska
CURATOR: MICHAL JACHULA

In a world of information and image overload that is often accompanied by disturbed perception, reality can be misrepresented and misunderstood. Derangement investigates issues of misrepresentation, misunderstanding, and confusion. It is based on the concept of the deranged, a constructed world reconsidered in a sociopolitical sense, represented through artworks in a variety of mediums. On the one hand the exhibition traces the themes of perception and mediation of reality; on the other it questions the notion of a complex understanding of things. The selected works of Dineo Seshee Bopape, Saul Fletcher, Hege Loenne, Jacek Malinowski, Dan Miller, Anna Ostoya, and Mikolaj Szoska, despite differences in meanings and references, relate to each other visually, conceptually, and spatially. What the works have in common is a madness in their method of conceiving content or depicting subjects. The works raise the following questions: How can an image of the world be constructed? Is there a reality independent of, or not subject to manipulation by, strong influences like the media, the economy, or one’s own personality? Is the accustomed state of deranged reality more interesting or better than the “normal order of things”?

The Office for Parafictional Research Presents Headless: Work by Goldin+Senneby
CURATOR: GINNY KOLLAK

The Office for Parafictional Research was established to study the implications of Headless, a body of work by the artist duo Goldin+Senneby. For the past three years, the Stockholm-based collaborators have been investigating an offshore company called Headless Ltd. as part of a larger inquiry into strategies of absence, invisibility, and withdrawal. Their project, also known as Headless, has emerged in a number of formats thus far, including lectures and readings, a series of newspaper interventions, a number of critical essays, a scattering of stage-like tableaux, a documentary film, and a serial novel in progress. But Goldin+Senneby’s own position remains elusive, as they outsource all representations of their work to independent practitioners and dispatch spokespeople on their behalf for public events.

Using methods informed by literary criticism, the Office for Parafictional Research offers a means of approaching these absent artists and their search for the offshore company. The term “parafiction” has recently been deployed to describe a category of art operating in the gray area between fiction and reality, and seems an appropriate lens for looking both at Headless as an artistic proposition, and at offshore finance as a legal practice. Staffed by founder and director, Ginny Kollak, the Office for Parafictional Research is a functioning workstation, reading area, and archive of materials dealing with Headless and related topics, currently headquartered in the CCS Bard Library. In addition, the Office for Parafictional Research has joined forces with Brian Droitcour of Rhizome to organize a minisymposium on Headless featuring Goldin+Senneby’s spokesperson, economic geographer Angus Cameron.

Minisymposium:
The Headless Conference
FRIDAY, MARCH 19, 7–9 P.M.
NEW MUSEUM, 235 BOWERY, NEW YORK

Featuring Angus Cameron, lecturer in human geography at the University of Leicester and emissary for Goldin+Senneby; Brian Droitcour, Rhizome staff writer; Keller Easterling, associate professor of architecture at Yale University; Ginny Kollak, director of the Office for Parafictional Research and second-year graduate student at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College; and Allan Stoekl, professor of French at Penn State University

The Headless Conference is co-organized by Brian Droitcour and Ginny Kollak as part of Rhizome’s New Silent Series at the New Museum.

OPEN SCORE VARIATIONS
Artists: Sanford Biggers, Lee Boroson, George Brecht, John Cage, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Paula Hayes, Lucy Lippard, Yoko Ono, Edward Ruscha, Xaviera Simmons, Allison Smith, Rirkrit Tiravanija, and La Monte Young
Curator: Daniel Mason

Open Score Variations
is an exploration of “event notation” and its differentiation in art from the postwar era to the present. Through a precise examination of this distinct form of artistic practice in works by artists ranging from John Cage to Sanford Biggers, this exhibition provides a unique perspective on the ways in which modern and contemporary artists have used language, objects, and images to forge social contracts with their publics. The exhibition investigates this area of artistic practice by considering a variety of linguistic, conceptual, and sculptural approaches that artists have employed for scoring action. Works include a graphic score and inscribed Buddhist singing bowls by Biggers; process notations and studio ephemera by Lee Boroson; two edible drawings, a musical score, and instruments for preparing a piano by Cage; three instructional certificates of authenticity by Felix Gonzalez-Torres; an agreement for a living artwork by Paula Hayes; a reanimation of Lucy Lippard’s reference materials from the exhibition catalogue for 955,000; a book of instructions by Yoko Ono; five artist books by Edward Ruscha; a photograph by Xaviera Simmons(Bard B.F.A. ‘04); a muster contract, field desk, Zouave rifle, and muster roll by Allison Smith; a recipe by Rirkrit Tiravanija; eight compositions by La Monte Young; and a realization of George Brecht’s event score Motor Vehicle Sundown (Event) with Xaviera Simmons and members of The Surrealist Training Circus.

Performance:
Sunday, February 7, 3 p.m.
CCS BARD GALLERIES AND PARKING AREA
A curator’s tour of Open Score Variations, followed by a realization of George Brecht’s event score Motor Vehicle Sundown (Event) in the CCS Bard parking area with artist Xaviera Simmons and members of the Bard College student organization The Surrealist Training Circus.

For All the Wrong Reasons
Artists: Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Clifford Borress

Curator: Sohrab Mohebbi
For All the Wrong Reasons
is an interpretive framework around two abstract paintings by the Iranian politician/artist Mir-Hossein Mousavi. In addition to the presentation of the two paintings and selected ephemera, the exhibition also includes an installation by the Brooklyn-based artist Clifford Borress, whose work explores interpretation as an art form—a departure from Mousavi’s paintings and artist statement.

Mousavi is now internationally recognized as a politician, but less known is the fact that prior to his political life he had a successful artistic career. As a 1969 architecture graduate of Melli University (National University), Mousavi mounted his first painting exhibition in the late 1960s, and he expressed his opinions on art in various forms of writing and in open discussions, mostly held at the avant-garde, artist-run Ghandriz Gallery in Tehran. On the one hand, Mousavi recalls the geometric abstractions of constructivism in his paintings, and on the other, he is referencing concepts of the occidental in Far Eastern art.

In addition to the paintings, For All the Wrong Reasons, offers printed background material on Mousavi, his artist statement, and historical ephemera. The exhibition also includes video and audio interviews with Hamid Dabashi, Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, and Peter J. Chelkowski, Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at New York University, that place the two paintings by Mousavi in historical and political perspective.

Through the use of collage writing, installation, and photography, Clifford Borress reveals a presence of implicit meanings and metaphor by proposing multiple variations, opening art to a galaxy of suggestions. By presenting Boress’s installation together with Mousavi’s paintings and ephemera, For All the Wrong Reasons examines the possibilities of a reflection on political context within the premise of an art exhibit.

Remodeling Systems: Vlatka Horvat, Pablo Helguera, Alon Levin
Curator: Yulia Tikhonova

Remodeling Systems explores, through the works of Vlatka Horvat, Pablo Helguera, and Alon Levin, attitudes and practices that engage social systems, ideological dynamics of individual practices, and collective agency. The artists participate in relationships that reveal state, education, and media discourses as well as specific cultural positions. Cultural infrastructures of importance include biennales, nonprofits, grants, and teaching positions that provide an economic base for their art activities. Their experiences of differing diasporas define their entry into fields of subjective decision making and other discerning choices. Individual methodologies are coconstructed by their infrastructure interaction, offering interpretive opportunities for further investigation.

Performance and artist-led tour:
Thursday, March 11, 3:30 p.m.
CCS Bard Galleries
Artist-guided tour with Vlatka Horvat, who will speak about her work

 Wednesday, March 17, 1 p.m.
CCS Bard Galleries
Pablo Helguera will perform “Wakefield” based on a short story of the same title by Nathaniel Hawthorne and utilizes the narration of the original text as well as elements from both theater and film.

CCS Bard Upcoming Thesis ExhibitionsGroup Two
April 11 – May 23, 2010
CCS Bard Galleries and Library, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York
Opening reception Sunday, April 11, 1–4 p.m.

Living Modern
Heidrun Holzfeind, Damon Rich, Niko Vicario
Curator: Laura Barlow

Artist Heidrun Holzfeind, designer and artist Damon Rich, and writer Niko Vicario consider the legacy of modernist architecture, urban redevelopment, and self-determination in Newark, New Jersey, in an exhibition of new cross-disciplinary works produced on and around the 58-acre urban renewal site of Mies van der Rohe’s Colonnade and Pavilion Apartments. Built between 1954 and 1960, the Colonnade and Pavilion Apartments—three glass-and-steel towers—and the Christopher Columbus Homes—eight brick towers—marked the beginning of urban renewal in Newark. By the mid-1970s, this program of demolition and reconstruction had transformed and modernized nearly one-third of the city, as its methods were increasingly questioned by local social movements associated with civil rights and Black Power activist groups.

New works conceived for this exhibition consider how the formal designs of modernist architecture and planning, and the aggressive, deeply politicized modernization of Newark, have impacted the everyday lives of residents and their communities. Holzfeind presents a new documentary film and installation on the Colonnade and Pavilion Apartments that consider how the social fabric of these buildings has been shaped over time by their architecture. Rich presents models and drawings that explore the site, its alternative histories, and possible futures. Vicario contributes an essay that explores how notions of “site” are mobilized between and across the fields of art and architecture, taking Mies van der Rohe’s apartment buildings and the surrounding area in Newark as a point of departure.

Presentation and Discussion:
Thursday, April 15, 57 p.m.
Preston Theater, Bard College
Artist Heidrun Holzfeind, designer/artist Damon Rich, and writer Niko Vicario present and discuss Living Modern. This event is held in conjunction with “Architecture after 1945,” a course taught by Noah Chasin, Art History Program, Bard College, and the Environmental and Urban Studies (EUS) Colloquium, an event series programmed by the EUS academic concentration, Bard College.

Not Again, “Making History” Reimagined
Artist: Andrea van der Straeten
Curator: Sarah Demeuse

The beginning: 18 installation shots, a press release, a gallery leaflet. These remainders of Making History, a 1999 CCS Bard thesis exhibition, are the backbone of Andrea van der Straeten’s unusual inquiry into a past show’s propositions. Her 2010 tweaked reinterpretation emerges out of conversations and collaborative research with the curator, who was eager to know and use what came before. Not Again takes place in the same gallery space as Making History, but it appears as an echo and functions as a cabinet of interpretations.

Visitors meander between past and present exhibitions, immersing themselves in the aural and textual juxtaposition. Not Again suggests repetition, but refuses exact reproduction. Instead, it heightens ephemerality and explores the differences in subjective memory, interpretation, and observation.

Van der Straeten’s encounter with the archived documents and her ensuing readings brought about new works on paper—site-specific wall drawings—and sculptural interventions. Not Again riffs off the spatial distribution in the original exhibition. Van der Straeten also associates the show’s historical references, the Kent State shootings and the social upheavals of the late 1960s, with literary texts from other historical periods. As a whole, her work interrupts linear patterns of history making and focuses on recurring idioms in political rhetoric.

Working from Vienna, van der Straeten’s distance from the original exhibition is both temporal and spatial. Her work at Bard continues her ongoing research into informal and uncertain forms of communication. In Not Again, she combines her long-standing interest in literature and communication science into a temporary gallery installation.

Panel Discussion:
Saturday, April 24, 13 p.m.
CCS Bard Galleries
“Unpacking the Exhibition Archive” 
Public in-gallery panel with Ann Butler (director of library and archives, CCS Bard), Kari Conte (independent curator), and Prem Krishnamurthy (Project Projects).

Second Cominga curatorial collaboration
Artists: Nástio Mosquito, Thando Mama, Metapong, and Pablo Rasgado
Curators: Gabi Ngcobo, Carlos E. Palacios, Andrea Torreblanca

Second Coming
is a collaboration that explores notions of absence, the phantasmagoric, and postcolonial subjectivities. Attracted by the manner in which the artists’ practices articulate quasi-transcendental aesthetics as well as resistance to the lure of spatial identification, the curators and artists present opportunities to ask not how to find a ghost, but if that which haunts history and place can be addressed; not how to be present in absentia, but if, in absence, one’s presence can transform an environment; not if there is a relationship between the “self” and “other,” but if there are other selves that inhabit one. Central to the collaboration is a motivation to analyze the relationship between illusion and recognition, and an attempt to map that which refuses to be mapped.

One of the common aspects defining this collective proposal is the idea of the curator as medium. As curators we act as agents, intervening in the production by transmitting certain particularities of the context to the artist’s discourse. The three projects that conform this proposal share multiple sites: one refers to the place where the artists are located during the production; another constitutes the space of CCS Bard (as a site-specific location); and the third is the place where communication between artists and curators occurs.

Discussion:
Monday, April 12, 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.
President’s Room, Kline Commons, Bard College
A conversation about the context of the contemporary Latin American art scene with artist Pablo Rasgado, Carlos Palacios, and students from the Latin American and Iberian Studies program at Bard College. The conversation will be held primarily in Spanish.

Wednesday, April 14, 5.30 – 7.30 p.m.   
Weis Cinema, Bard College 
“Oh what a circus!” A conversation between artist Nástio Mosquito and writer Binyavanga Wainaina, facilitated by Gabi Ngcobo. This conversation will depart from Africalls?, a documentary film created by a company from Barcelona, that features artists working from the urban context of seven African cities: Cape Town, Douala, Dakar, Luanda, Maputo, Nairobi, and Rabat.

Requires extra budget for lettuce
Artist: Jacob Stewart-Halevy
Curator: Mackenzie Schneider
In Requires extra budget for lettuce, emerging conceptual artist Jacob Stewart-Halevy responds to Giovanni Anselmo’s early work in general and to the sculpture Untitled 1968 (Eating Structure), part of CCS Bard’s permanent collection, in particular. Anselmo is often identified as a key member of Arte Povera, and his oeuvre is characterized by its focus on the effect of natural processes on human experience. Taking the physical forces of nature, namely entropy and gravity, as its subject matter, Untitled 1968 consists of a head of lettuce wedged between two cement blocks held together by wire. As the lettuce wilts, the wire loosens, causing one of the cement blocks to fall. In order to combat this, the lettuce must be replaced regularly while on display—an act that generally goes unnoticed by gallery visitors. Stewart-Halevy highlights this element of the piece (on display elsewhere at CCS Bard) by turning the act of changing the lettuce into a performance in itself, documented throughout the duration of the exhibition. This idea of casting a narrative shadow over the work extends to other elements of the show, including a newspaper that strings together loose visual associations relating to the sculpture, as well as materials instructing docents, preparators, and even interns on how to present the work to the museum public. Stewart-Halevy will also present a film work that reimagines Anselmo’s processes of production in his studio as the result of an investigation of transparency, weight, and tension between his sculptures. Constructing fictionalized narratives at the moment when an Anselmo sculpture is on the verge of being realized, constructed, or displayed in an alternative way, calls into question the methodology and criteria that Anselmo might have applied to his own artworks.

Presentation:
Tuesday, April 13, 5 p.m.
Preston Theater, Bard College
Independent curator and Arte Povera scholar, Claire Gilman will present an art historical perspective on the Arte Povera movement, contextualizing Giovanni Anselmo’s early practice. Thinking about the shifting contexts for artworks over time, Gilman will address how this work fits into the larger narrative of Arte Povera and how interpretations of the work have changed over the past 40 years.

The Bomb Ponds: Work by Vandy Rattana
Curator: Francesca Sonara

In October 2009 photographer Vandy Rattana traveled to those Cambodian provinces most severely bombed by the U.S military during the Vietnam War. The goal of this journey was to reopen dialogue with local villagers on this traumatic history and to document the scarred landscape as it exists today.

Between 1964 and 1973, the United States dropped an estimated 2,756,941 tons of ordnance across Cambodia’s countryside. Today, the craters created by this action are known as “bomb ponds.” These water-filled oases conspicuously emerge from the midst of Cambodia’s lush green rice fields. Untouched and unnatural, these ponds remain as underdiscussed monuments from one of American history’s most controversial eras.

Unsatisfied with the level of documentation and investigation produced on the subject, Vandy Rattana decided to rectify the lack of discourse by producing a series of landscape photographs testifying to the existence of these craters as well as filmed interviews in which he asked villagers to describe either their memory of the bombing or their present understanding of the history symbolized by the craters. The resultant work is being exhibited for the first time at CCS Bard, with the hope that audience members will reconsider this historical thread and the extent of America’s actions during the Vietnam War.

Lecture:
Monday, April 12, 5 7 p.m.
Olin 102, Bard College
“The Presence of the Past,” a lecture by curator Erin Gleeson, who has been based in Phnom Penh for the past eight years, and a screening of The Land of Wandering Souls by Rithy Panh, Cambodia’s leading documentary filmmaker and founder of Bophana Audiovisual Resource Center.

How to Begin? Envisioning the Impact of Guggenheim Abu Dhabi
A publication and panel discussion
Contributors: Regine Basha, Hassan Khan, Sohrab Mohebbi, Didem Özbek, and Sarah Rifky
Curator: Özge Ersoy

How can the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi position itself beyond serving as a pragmatic tool to boost tourism in its locale? What role can it play in the existing arts infrastructure in the United Arab Emirates and the larger area of cultural structures defined by the term “Middle East”? How can this museum accrue value for artworks that are produced in this region and its diasporas? Taking its cue from these questions, How to Begin? Envisioning the Impact of Guggenheim Abu Dhabi presents a collection of essays by artists, curators, and writers. In a setting where all strategic plans and arguments reside in conjecture, this publication not only aims to introduce a set of critical responses to the most recent support structures in the arts, but also imagines alternative possibilities for how these structures might be built and influence the practice of artists, curators, and other cultural producers. This project is the manifestation of creative and critical activity at a time when the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi is yet to be built and the related questions linger without answers.

Panel Discussion:
Monday, April 19, 5 – 7 p.m.
CCS Seminar Room
“How to Begin? Envisioning the Impact of Guggenheim Abu Dhabi” invites Negar Azimi, senior editor at Bidoun magazine, and Sohrab Mohebbi, M.A. candidate at the Center for Curatorial Studies, to explore the possible impacts of the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi on the art scenes of the Arab countries, Turkey, and Iran.

Up River
A Hudson River Expedition

Artist: Marie Lorenz
Curator: Diana Stevenson
Expedition presentation: Thursday, May 6, 7:30 p.m. Tivoli Town Hall

Marie Lorenz and Diana Stevenson will embark on a journey up the Hudson River in a small, homemade boat. Setting off in early April from an undisclosed location on the Bard College Campus, they will navigate the tides and currents of the Hudson as they travel upriver toward Troy, for however long it takes. Episodes from this expedition will be communicated in real time from the boat to subscribers via e-mail, allowing an audience near and far to assemble a travelogue of the adventure in words and pictures. Details on how to subscribe will be available from the Center for Curatorial Studies in due course.

Following the expedition, Lorenz and Stevenson will give a lecture and slide show to report their findings at Tivoli Town Hall. This event is free and open to the public.

Marie Lorenz’s work is concerned with actual and imagined voyages of discovery. By constructing various small boats in response to her immediate environment, she uses waterways and the open sea to find alternative means to re-chart chartered territories, in the process revealing hidden narratives of our relationship with the world at large.