CCS Bard Announces “Living Under the Same Roof: The Marieluise Hessel Collection and the Center for Curatorial Studies,” on View February 20 Through May 23

February 2, 2010

NNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – Beginning this February, the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College (CCS Bard) presents Living Under the Same Roof: The Marieluise Hessel Collection and the Center for Curatorial Studies. This exhibition is the public part of a process of looking into the Marieluise Hessel Collection with the students of CCS Bard. During the opening on February 20, from 3 to 5 p.m., there will be a one-day conference taking place with the participation of Jan Debbaut, Marysia Lewandowska, and Cecilia Widenheim. 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 20 opening. The bus returns to New York City after the opening. Reservations are required; call 845-758-7598 or email

Living Under the Same Roof: The Marieluise Hessel Collection and the Center for Curatorial Studies is the result of an intensive research and teaching program organized by Ana Paula Cohen during her time as curator-in-residence at CCS Bard. Each year the Center invites an outside curator to work with our graduate students to investigate the Marieluise Hessel Collection and consider how to create an exhibition within the galleries of the Hessel Museum of Art. Cohen has proposed less an exhibition and more a process through which the scope of the collection is brought out into the open for the public to examine; in turn, this process grants the public direct access to the works themselves. Over a series of months, the museum will in effect become a laboratory in which anyone may participate. It is a simple, yet radical, move that upends the often closed systems within which the public encounters art within the context of the museum. In essence, Cohen has brought the more than 2,000 artworks, artist books, videos, and films out of storage, providing a platform to explore how we can “activate” the collection.

The exhibition presents a mapping of the entire collection – developed in collaboration with Paris-based Brazilian artists Angela Detanico and Rafael Lain – in an attempt to open up, to an interested audience, the idea of the collection as a system with variable entrances. The public is invited to select works from storage to be seen in a viewing room in the museum space. The works will be displayed in a rotating system according to weekly requests. The exhibition also focuses on two sub-collections: the artists’ books (including works by Marcel Broodthaers, Joseph Kosuth, Robert Smithson, Stephen Shore, Matt Mullican, and Rosangela Rennó) and the time-based media works (film, video, or audio works by artists such as Joan Jonas, Nancy Holt, and Christian Marclay). The intention is to understand the specificities of these other areas of the collection and to emphasize their importance within the Hessel Museum structure. The display of Living Under the Same Roof functions as an apparatus to articulate the dynamics of each part of the exhibition and its relation to the audience. The structures were developed in collaboration with Bogotá-based artist Gabriel Sierra, in order to accommodate both the artworks and the public, according to the specific use of each space. A series of talks by artists with works in the Hessel Collection is a vital component of this exhibition, including presentations by Nicole Eisenman, Robert Longo, Matt Mullican, Judy Pfaff, Martha Rosler, and Stephen Shore.


About Particularities: How to Collect and Display Artistic Practices in Contemporary Art Museums?
February 20, 3 – 5 p.m.

The conference will expand upon the ideas addressed in the exhibition through comparisons with practices at the other contemporary art museums, such as the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, the Tate Modern in London, and the The Pontus Hultén Study Gallery at the Moderna Museet, Stockholm. What does it mean to classify and physically organize a collection of contemporary art? How to create an acquisition policy that reflects the current program of the museum? How do contemporary artists engage with this issue, and how are new platforms created to organize and present practices that result in production beyond the discrete object?

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.

For additional information, call 845-758-7598, e-mail, or visit

Press Contact:
Mark Primoff

CCS Bard Contact:
Ramona Rosenberg