As part of the artwork The Artist Talks, Sarah Pierce will stage a choreographed ‘artist’s talk’ with students from Kristin Lucas’ art class, Sculpture 1 / The Artist’s Body. This short, revised speech uses props and a central stage that form part of the installation, using as a script a lecture delivered between 1905-1907 by the poet Rainer Maria Rilke on the work of Auguste Rodin. In a group reading, the performance gestures a mode that all artists occupy: where speech and the archive coalesce, documentation anticipates the event, and words disturb the finished work.
The performance will be followed by a lecture, whereby Sarah Pierce has invited three speakers to address the audience with short, prepared speeches that describe a visual work. Presented as sequential talks, one after the other, Tom Eccles, Paul O’Neill, and Jeannine Tang offer this loose version of the above lecture by Rilke, where he chose not mention the artist’s name or use any visual materials, for the first several minutes of the talk, but relied on verbal description and the audience’s imagination. The visual image enters into the talk in the reciprocities between words and thoughts, speakers and listeners, language and imagination.
Sarah Pierce lives and works in Dublin, Ireland. Since 2003, she has used the term The Metropolitan Complex to describe her project. Despite its institutional resonance, this title does not signify an organization. Instead, it demonstrates Pierce’s broad understanding of cultural work, articulated through working methods that often open up to the personal and the incidental. Characterized as a way to play with a shared neuroses of place (read ‘complex’ in the Freudian sense), whether a specific locality or a wider set of circumstances that frame interaction, her activity considers forms of gathering, both historical examples and those she initiates. The processes of research and presentation that Pierce undertakes highlight a continual renegotiation of the terms for making art: the potential for dissent and self-determination, the slippages between individual work and institution, and the proximity of past artworks. Recent exhibitions include: The Artist Talks at The Showroom, London (solo); After the future, EVA international biennial of art, Limerick; A Terrible Beauty is Born, 11th Biennale de Lyon; Our Day Will Come, Tasmanian School of Art, Hobart; Push and Pull, Tate Modern, London and Mumok, Vienna; Research Program, Charlottenborg Kunsthal, Copenhagen; Appeal for Alternatives, Stiftung Kunstsammlung Nordhein-Westfalen K21+K20, Düsseldorf; and We are Grammar, Pratt, Manhattan. She regularly publishes The Metropolitan Complex Papers, and collaborates on The Paraeducation Department with Annie Fletcher.
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.