The Filament and the Bulb: 2017 Spring Exhibitions and Projects

April 9, 2017 - May 28, 2017
Hessel Museum of Art and CCS Bard Galleries

Opening Reception: Sunday, April 9, 1pm – 4pm

Free chartered bus to and from New York City for the opening.  For reservations, call 845.758.7598, or write

A conductive filament converts electricity to light within a lightbulb. The current flows through the filament, and is maintained by an inert gas within the bulb. While there is the trace of a spark, the filament’s sustained illumination relies upon its non-reactive environment. The combination of these two elements produces light, radiating outward.

Similarly, the exhibitions in The Filament and the Bulb arise from interactions between specific contexts or conditions that open onto wider narratives. Although the starting point of each circuit is discernible, the flow of electricity has effects beyond its point of origin and its enclosure. An exhibition may itself stem from a specific context, but still have the capacity to portray a multitude of stories. The interruption, reinterpretation or integration of neglected narratives are strategies to address dormant flickers within each preexisting current. Each exhibition in The Filament and the Bulb utilizes the stability of their environment as a platform for re-negotiating these seemingly simple circuits and their preconceived convictions.

The Center for Curatorial Studies presents exhibitions and projects curated by second-year students in its graduate program in curatorial studies and contemporary art.  The students have organized these exhibition and projects as part of the requirements for the master of arts degree.

Exhibitions are as follows:

When the whites of the eyes are red
Artists: Doa Aly, Ivana Bašić with text by Haytham el-Wardany
Curated by Shehab Awad

When the whites of the eyes are red is an exhibition about the fear of grappling with reality. Various elements in the exhibition inhabit the blurred lines between perceptions of sleep and death to lay bare the fragility of being and embrace the limits of knowledge.

The Written Language of Reality
Artists: Yto Barrada, Basim Magdy, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and Akram Zaatari
Curated by Marta Cacciavillani

Taking its title from an essay written in 1966 by the Italian director, poet, and intellectual Pier Paolo Pasolini, The Written Language of Reality grapples with questions of realism and actuality. The exhibition brings together a group of works that stage a complicated, broken relation between image, text, and script.

Figure 59
Curated by Pat Elifritz

Figure 59 is based on one painting by the artist and futurist, Magda Cordell McHale. By way of an individual work, this exhibition addresses the problem of locating Cordell within, and beyond, movements of postwar art, urbanism, and academia.

Whispers in the Grass: The Living Theatre and The Brig
Curated by Anna Gallagher-Ross

The exhibition Whispers in the Grass investigates the closure of the Living Theatre by the United States government in October 1963 that put an end to the experimental theatre company’s controversial performance, The Brig. Part research inquiry, part conspiracy theory, this exhibition assembles evidence in the form of original interviews, films by Jonas Mekas and Storm de Hirsch, archival materials from the Living Theatre’s records, police surveillance files, and a staged reading of transcripts from a criminal trial, read by Mike Iveson and Kaneza Schaal, to probe the story of artists and activists whose lives and art were haunted by Cold War-era surveillance—a story with lingering implications for our own surveilled time.

Other Articulations of the Real 
Artists: Torkwase Dyson, Cameron Rowland, Shawn Theodore, with a writing by Sable Elyse Smith
Curated by Stephanie Goodalle

Other Articulations of the Real features art that explores and interrogates racialized melancholy amongst Black Americans. Melancholy is not purely a psychoanalytical phenomenon, but a merged physical and mental state of being embedded within the environment.

Dark Clouds Silver Linings
Curated by Emer Grant

 An exhibition that engages with our complex affinity to technological cultures, to speculate on their relationships to place, imagined and real. 

Lawrence Weiner: A Means of Avoiding Bureaucracy 
Curated by Lola Kramer

As the first presentation of the artist’s working postcards, Lawrence Weiner: A Means of Avoiding Bureaucracy offers viewers a look into the artist’s personal documentation methods that culminate in the realization of his work. 

The Case of the Osmanthus Flower Jelly
Artists: Ulises Carrión, Stephanie Syjuco, SHIMURAbros, Zihan Loo, and Anicka Yi
Curated by Lian Ladia

The Case of the Osmanthus Flower Jelly examines traces and clues, revealing how we collect, organize and circulate information. Unconventional forms of “knowledge distribution” from gossip, scents, censored work or personal archives become an investigation into how subjectivity and perception can shape or enrich our experiences and movement in the public realm.

After Notation
Artist: Marina Rosenfeld
Curated by Lisa Long

After Notation, an exhibition of recent and new work by New York-based artist Marina Rosenfeld, foregrounds the artist’s critical exploration of musical notation since the late 1990s.

let’s make a deal
Featured artists are Janine Antoni, Huma Bhabha, Paul Chan, Jennifer Gustavson, Jeremy Olson, Raymond Pettibon, and Seth Price
Curated by Lynn Maliszewski

let’s make a deal is a durational project that initiates correspondence between artists Huma Bhabha and Jeremy Olson. This correspondence will be conducted through monthly additions to a communal container of prolonged contemplation in a sequential relay between January and March 2017, wherein the artists will respond to each other and to prompts drawn from the Marieluise Hessel Collection.

los contenedores (no) son mejores vacíos
Contributions by: Tania Bruguera, Krudas Cubensi, Ted Henken, Hanny Mirin, and Chris Stover
Produced by Lola Martinez

los contenedores (no) son mejores vacíos is a research and curatorial online radio program which broadcast music that has been impacted, in content and circulation, by the political history of Cuba. Via the transmissions of playlists and interviews, modes of popular music are listened to as a means to which explore the potential futurities of Cuba amidst an uncertain political, economical, and social present.

Studies from the Bottom Up
Contributors: Martin Beck, Adelita Husni-Bey, Nadja Millner-Larsen, and Jennifer Wilson
Curated by Julie Niemi

Studies from the Bottom Up is a publication and exhibition exploring the context, curriculum, and communal life of Tolstoy College, a pacifist-anarchist educational community active at the University at Buffalo from 1969 to 1985.

Student-curated exhibitions at CCS Bard are made possible with support from the Rebecca and Martin Eisenberg Student Exhibition Fund; the Mitzi and Warren Eisenberg Family Foundation; the Audrey and Sydney Irmas Charitable Foundation; the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation; the Board of Governors of the Center for Curatorial Studies; the CCS Bard Arts Council; and by the Center’s Patrons, Supporters, and Friends. 


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