CCS Bard Presents: From 199A to 199B : Liam Gillick

May 17, 2012

Curated by Tom Eccles, CCS Bard Executive Director

On view June 23 through December 21, 2012 at the Hessel Museum of Art

Opening reception: Saturday, June 23, 2012 from 1:00-5:00pm

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, NY, May 10, 2012 On the occasion of its 20th anniversary year, the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College (CCS Bard) will present From 199A to 199B : Liam Gillick at the Hessel Museum of Art. A survey of Gillick’s work from the early 1990s that pushed for a new awareness of how art institutions function, From 199A to 199B : Liam Gillick is curated by Tom Eccles, CCS Bard Executive Director, and features works that are being shown for the first time in the United States.   

The recessionary years of the early 1990s were a dynamic period of artistic change. While many artists in the United States were exposing the workings of the gallery and institution, and challenging the traditional status of artistic persona, in Europe, attention turned to the matrix of cultural production within the context of fading public funding and a new freedom to travel following the fall of the Berlin Wall.

From 199A to 199B : Liam Gillick revisits this formative period of Gillick’s production in Europe, particularly France, Germany, Italy, and England, prior to his move to New York in 1998. On view throughout the fifteen galleries of the Hessel Museum, this exhibition offers a specifically selected survey of Gillick’s seminal projects and installations that challenged the orthodox presentation and reception of art and its methods and practices during the 1990s. Considering the relationship between the artist, the institution, and the audience to be mutually co-dependent in the creation of meaning, Gillick created situations in which the outcome was incomplete without involving the institution and questioning the expanded role of the exhibition visitor.

In 1998, Gillick wrote, “I am interested in the establishment of a series of parallel structures, all of which work alongside each other. I am interested in setting up ways in which it might be possible to understand the complex context within which ideas and visualizations of ideas are made manifest, rather than to constantly refine a series of apparently transgressive visual novelties.” 

As an artist who applied writing, music, curatorial strategies and an interest in the structural aspects of conceptual art, Gillick found his most productive context away from the emerging British scene. His early work often involved collaborations with other artists, both in the production of the work itself and in the structure of exhibitions. Gillick has been widely acknowledged as a protagonist in what Nicolas Bourriaud termed “relational aesthetics” (along with Rirkrit Tiravanija, Philippe Parreno, Domonique Gonzalez-Foerster and others). This exhibition will reveal the political underpinnings of this moment and expose the way in which Gillick used simple materials and structures to expose the dynamic changes in exhibition structures – both private and public. 

Texts have formed an important part of Gillick’s oeuvre and From 199A to 199B : Liam Gillick highlights his use of the written and spoken word through a new recording of his novel Erasmus is late, and a radio broadcast, A Broadcast from 1887 on the subject of our time (1996), taken from his republished edition of Looking Backward, by Edward Bellamy. Gillick’s Protoype Erasmus Table #2 (Gent) (1994), an oversized plywood table, provides a reading room with books and ephemera selected from the CCS Bard Library and Archive.

Gillick’s writings and installations question the position of the individual at the end of the 20th-century and function as a critique of current politics. Of particular interest to Gillick in the 1990s was the emergence of an individualized leisure class and service economy during this time when collective identities gave way to increasingly personalized self-categorization and identification. Particularly prescient at a pre-internet moment is Information Room (GRSSPR, Tattoo Magazine, Women’s Basketball) (1993), which fills the wall of a large gallery in the Hessel Museum with lifestyle magazines and news reports selected by the artist. 

From 199A to 199B : Liam Gillick also includes Gillick’s The Pinboard Project (1992), which features bulletin boards throughout the Hessel Museum filled with exhibition information and materials, alongside interventions from CCS Bard alumni/ae and other visitors to the exhibition. Further questioning the possibility or desirability of a single authorial narrative, the exhibition will also include Lost Paradise Information Service (1994), where a parallel exhibition narrative describing and presenting the show, and at the same time challenging the official materials such as press releases and signage, will be developed by CCS Bard students. 

The exhibition will also feature the first works from Gillick’s What If? Scenario series in which  the artist tasks the viewer to participate in various activities. One scenario selected for this exhibition is undoubtedly the most playful; entitled (The What If ? Scenario) Dining Table, (1996), the piece features a room with a blue, netless table tennis table, a shaker of silver glitter, and paddles, inviting visitors to invent their own rules and play the game.

From 199A to 199B Liam Gillick has engaged current CCS Bard students Juana Berrío, Olga Dekalo, Sarah Fritchey, Sarah Higgins, Annie Larmon, Marina Noronha, Karly Wildenhaus and alumni /ae Ian Berry, Jose Luis Blondet, Cecilia Brunson, David Ho Yeung Chan, Vincenzo de Bellis, Jennifer Dunlop-Fletcher, Monserrat Albores Gleason, Nathan Lee, Fionn Meade, Tomas Pospiszyl and Gilbert Vicario, in the production of the final exhibition. Protoype Erasmus Table #2 (Gent) (1994) is produced in collaboration with Ann Butler, Director of the CCS Bard Library and Archives, and Bronwen Bitetti, Associate Librarian of the CCS Bard Library and Archives.

About the Artist

Liam Gillick is based in London and New York. He was selected to represent Germany at the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009, and a major exhibition of his work opened at the Kunst und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland in April 2010. Past solo exhibitions include The Wood Way (2002) at Whitechapel Gallery, London; A short text on the possibility of creating an economy of equivalence (2005) at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris; and the retrospective project, Three Perspectives and a short scenario, at Witte de With, Rotterdam, Kunsthalle Zurich, Kunstverein, Munich, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2008 – 2010). Gillick was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2002 and the Vincent Award at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam in 2008. Public commissions and projects include the Home Office, London (2005) and the Dynamica Building, Guadalajara, Mexico (2009). In 2006 he was a central figure in the free art school project unitednationsplaza in Berlin which travelled to Mexico City and New York. Gillick has also published a number of texts that function in parallel to his artwork. Proxemics (Selected writing 1988-2006), was published by JRP-Ringier in 2007 alongside the monograph Factories in the Snow by Lilian Haberer. A critical reader, Meaning Liam Gillick, was published by MIT Press in 2009, and an anthology of his artistic writing, Allbooks, was published by Book Works, London, in 2009. In addition, Gillick has contributed to various art magazines and journals including Parkett, Frieze, Art Monthly, October and Artforum. Gillick has taught at Columbia University in New York since 1997 and CCS Bard since 2008. His work is in the public collections of: Government Art Collection, UK; Arts Council, UK; Tate, London; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Guggenheim Museum, New York; Hirshhorn Museum, Washington DC; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.

This exhibition was made possible by the cooperation of Casey Kaplan, New York; Esther Schipper, Berlin; Air de Paris, Paris; Maureen Paley, London; Eva Presenhuber, Zurich; Micheline Szwajcer, Antwerp; Kerlin Gallery, Dublin; and Meyer Kainer, Vienna.

About the Center for Curatorial Studies
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.

The Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College opened its doors in 1992. Celebrating its 20th Anniversary in 2012, CCS Bard presents a series of exhibitions by students, as well as a roster of international artists, working in a range of practices. 

General information on the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College can be found on its newly re-launched website


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