The title Marginalia refers to something discreet and obscure. The work itself is a site-specific abstract collage made of printed and photocopied papers taken from various bulletin boards located on Bard’s campus. These papers were arranged for the CCS bulletin board to alter the original by only allowing the margins to be visible.
Through her work, Anna Ostoya raises important questions about who has access to information and for whom is it legible or useful. This abstract installation references the transparency of information within an institution of higher education. This reference is, however, not limited to the Bard community. It points towards those people outside of the institution who may never enter it. In exploring these questions of access and privileging of information, the artist is both very generous and stringent with her means of presentation, providing subtle clues in minimal doses for those who can read between the lines.
The work also reflects the mechanism of information distribution and the ontological status of information itself. The work made in the aesthetics of horror vacui introduces semantic confusion within the crowded public space of the Campus Center, a central place on the campus map, which offers the opportunity to absorb a variety of information and enjoy free time. Several bulletin boards give students access to certain types of information communicating community-based sports, cultural and educational activities. One can also find advertisements concerning commercial offers. Marginalia in the form of an abstract pattern, expresses the notion of that information, understood as a commodity that is impossible to absorb entirely.
The collage, presented in the vicinity of other bulletin boards, located next to the pool table, echoes information display systems in a very particular way. Bulletin boards in general, and specifically those in the Campus Center embody the idea of information wars. The notice on top always wins whereas that underneath or removed is rendered useless, becoming wastepaper. In Marginalia all information is unified on a visual level, but conceptually, it calls for the opposite. The work can simultaneously be perceived as pure abstraction without reference to the real world while it touches upon political aspects of minimal and conceptual art practices.
Anna Ostoya was born in Krakow in 1978. In 2009 she graduated from the Whitney Independent Study Program in New York. Ostoya’s work has been exhibited at Portikus, Frankfurt; Schnittaum, Cologne; Silverman Gallery, San Francisco; Zacheta National Gallery, Warsaw; Manifesta 7, Rovereto; the 2nd Athens Biennial; Car Projects, Bologna and Lisson Gallery, London. The artist lives and works in New York.
Curated by CCS Bard graduate student Michal Jachula
THE BULLETIN BOARD
The Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College is the third venue to host Matthew Higgs’s (Curator and Director of White Columns) bulletin board project. CCS and Higgs collaborated to begin a bulletin board program at Bard in the fall of 2007 with the understanding that the graduate students at CCS would curate it. The bulletin board is an enclosed glass case divided into three panes by aluminum bars. As of January 26, it has migrated from outside of the CCS Library to its new location in the Bertelsmann Campus Center, adjacent to the billiard tables.