“Glorification of Splendid Underdogs Is Nothing Other Than Glorification of the Splendid System That Makes Them So.”
In this talk Larsen will discuss curatorial method and research through a previous and a coming exhibition of his, namely A History of Irritated Material (2010) and Psychédélismes (2013), both at Raven Row, London. Through the work of artists and artists groups such as Lygia Clark, Öyvind Fahlström, Group Material, Ad Reinhardt and Inspection Medical Hermeneutics, the exhibitions engage with art forms that have often been considered marginal or subterranean, and with archives that are characterized by their unruliness rather than by their relationship of proximity and legality with past events. Such an approach raises questions of how to deal with processes of institutionalization and how one may negotiate, or depart from, existing categories of art and cultural history. The open-ended, double-barrel view on a previous and a coming exhibition will also provide an opportunity for curatorial (self-)critique and work-in-progress evaluation. The title of his talk comes from T.W. Adorno’s “Minima Moralia” (1951), whose subtitle “Reflections From Damaged Life” could also be applied to the sense of artistic and methodological estrangement at stake in the exhibitions.
Lars Bang Larsen is an art historian and curator. His current exhibition projects include A Society Without Qualities (Tensta Konsthall, Stockholm 2013) and Concept after Concept: System, Nihilism and Joke in Conceptual Art (Roskilde Museum for Contemporary Art, Copenhagen 2014). His books include “The Critical Mass of Mediation” (with Søren Andreasen, 2012) and “Art and Psychedelia” (Afterall Books, 2013). Lars holds a PhD in art history from the University of Copenhagen on the subject of “Psychedelic Tropes in Neo-Avant-Garde Art.”
About The Speakers Series: Each semester the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College hosts a regular program of lectures by the foremost artists, curators, art historians, and critics of our day, situating the school and museum’s concerns within the larger context of contemporary art production and discourse. Lectures are open to students and faculty, as well as to the general public, and will also be documented through video and/or audio recordings, which will reside in the CCS Bard Library and Archives.