The Brant Foundation Lecture in Contemporary Art : Carrie Lambert-Beatty

February 15, 2017 from 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Weis Cinema, Bertelsmann Campus Center, Bard College

CCS Bard is pleased to present the first in The Brant Foundation Lecture in Contemporary Art series with a lecture by art historian Carrie Lambert-Beatty entitled How do you know? Contemporary art and the politics of knowledge. Lambert-Beatty will give the lecture at 5pm on Wednesday, February 15th in Weis Cinema, Bertelsmann Campus Center at Bard College. This lecture is made by possible by the major grant given from The Brant Foundation to Bard College to support The Brant Foundation Fellowship in Contemporary Arts.

Carrie Lambert-Beatty is Professor in the Department of History of Art and Architecture and the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University, and Director of Graduate Studies for the Ph.D. in Film and Visual Studies.

An art historian with a focus on art from the 1960s to the present, and a special interest in performance in an expanded sense, she is currently at work on a book for University of Chicago Press expanding on her 2009 October magazine essay “Make-Believe: Parafiction and Plausibility.” What happens, aesthetically and ethically, when artists deceive their audiences? Why has the presentation of fiction as fact—“parafiction,” in Lambert-Beatty’s term—become such a common way of working in contemporary art, and in culture more generally, since the early 1990s?

In the past decade one of Lambert-Beatty’s chief research concerns has been the potential and limits of political art in contemporary practice, which she has explored through work on hybrids of art and activism such as Women on Waves and The Yes Men. Her essay on recuperation—both neurological and ideological—in the work of the art team Allora + Calzadilla accompanied their representation of the United States at the 2011 Venice Biennial. Her 2008 book Being Watched: Yvonne Rainer and the 1960s (MIT Press) was a study of the art of a signal member of the American avant-garde. Treating aesthetic issues such as minimalism, dance, documentation, and the problem of politics in Rainer’s work, the book is also driven by the problem of how artists responded, often at unconscious levels, to the burgeoning media culture of the 1960s. Being Watched was awarded the 2008 de la Torre prize for dance studies.

Lambert-Beatty’s writing has also appeared in collections such as the Blackwell-Wiley volume Contemporary Art 1989 to the Present, exhibition catalogs including Dance/Draw and A Minimal Future? Art as Object 1958-1968 and journals such as Artforum, Art Journal, and Signs, as well as October magazine, of which she is an editor.

Lambert-Beatty studied American and Modern/Contemporary art at Stanford University, receiving her Ph.D. in 2002. She was also a Critical Studies Fellow in the Whitney Independent Study Program in 1997-98. Her work has been supported by fellowships from the Getty Research Institute, the Radcliffe Research Institute, and the Du Bois Research Institute at the Hutchins Center for African and African-American Studies.

About The Brant Foundation

The Brant Foundation, Inc.’s mission is to promote education and appreciation of contemporary art and design by making works available to institutions and individuals for scholarly study, examination, and loan. Currently, The Brant Foundation, established in 1996, lends works to more than a dozen exhibitions per year. The Brant Foundation Art Study Center, designed by Richard Gluckman and located in Greenwich, CT, opened its doors in 2009 and presents long-term exhibitions curated primarily from the collection. The collection is remarkable in that scores of artists are represented in depth, including works from the earliest period of their practice through their most recent works. Additional information may be found on the Foundation’s website,


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