Speakers Series : Saskia Bos

April 1, 2013 from 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
CCS Bard, Seminar Room 1

Affinities of Affect
On how an educational context can influence curating


Saskia Bos, Dean at the School of Art at The Cooper Union, will be speaking about a few recent projects she (co-)curated at Cooper and about aspects of her 30 year experience in exhibition making. Having founded De Appel’s International Curatorial Program in Amsterdam in 1993, Bos left that non-for-profit space to begin working at Cooper Union at the end of 2005, partly because of affinities with some faculty members she had worked with as artists.

Saskia Bos has lived and worked in many different parts of the world: in the Netherlands, in France, where she grew up, as well in Italy, Brazil, Austria and Germany. International projects include: Documenta 7 (production of public projects and bi-lingual catalogue) 1982 and Documenta 11 (selection committee and press speaker) 1998, Venice Biennale 1984 (Dutch Pavilion), 1988 (co-curator Aperto) and 2009 (curator Dutch Pavilion), Sao Paulo 1997 (curator Dutch entry), Berlin Biennale 2001 (artistic director) Biennale Muënsterland 2003 (artistic and managing director). Exhibitions at De Appel Amsterdam total more than one hundred and include first solo shows with artists like Miroslaw Balka, Anri Sala, Mark Manders as well as first one person presentations in Europe of the works of Doris Salcedo and Ghada Amer.

She has and MA in Art History (Hons) from the University of Amsterdam writing a thesis on the importance of author and poet Stephane Mallarmé in the work of Marcel Broodthaers.  Over the years Bos has contributed essays to catalogues of the many artists she worked with, and taught ‘Contemporary Art Issues’- seminars at Cooper Union.

Her talk will cover recent projects, referencing events at Cooper Union, while considering the context of social and political issues brought up in a number of exhibitions she curated in the past. 

She will speculate on the following inter-related questions:
What does it mean to be in the middle of a student protest for a historian of contemporary art who grew up near Paris around 1968? Why curate exhibitions or create film programs about dissensus and artist activism within a school that is considered the last free art school in terms of tuition?
One of the contingencies of education is that it is based on an unknown future, moving towards a goal that needs to be always broad and inclusive.
If students influence a curator, how does that happen? 

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.


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