In a world of information and image overload that is often accompanied by disturbed perception, reality can be misrepresented and misunderstood. Derangement investigates issues of misrepresentation, misunderstanding, and confusion. It is based on the concept of the deranged, a constructed world reconsidered in a sociopolitical sense, represented through artworks in a variety of mediums. On the one hand the exhibition traces the themes of perception and mediation of reality; on the other it questions the notion of a complex understanding of things. The selected works of Dineo Seshee Bopape, Saul Fletcher, Hege Loenne, Jacek Malinowski, Dan Miller, Anna Ostoya, and Mikolaj Szoska, despite differences in meanings and references, relate to each other visually, conceptually, and spatially. What the works have in common is a madness in their method of conceiving content or depicting subjects. The works raise the following questions: How can an image of the world be constructed? Is there a reality independent of, or not subject to manipulation by, strong influences like the media, the economy, or one’s own personality? Is the accustomed state of deranged reality more interesting or better than the “normal order of things”?
In the video Under All Means Necessary Dineo Seshee Bopape shakes her head from side to side until her head and hair blurs, creating abstract lines across the screen. Very expressive action develops slowly with precise, rhythmic and visual discipline where the protagonist of the video loses shape, becoming almost invisible. Bopape focuses on the aspect of “a walk through the editing space”, the space of the image, that has to do with the performed situation and it’s visual construction.
The brooding and intense photographs by Saul Fletcher present a variety of subjects, ranging from religious symbols to common objects with complex issues of mortality, sexuality, and spirituality. The artist conceives each image as a precise mental picture, meticulously crafting and editing its content before taking the photograph.
Hege Loenne’s untitled video recalls the space of the exhibition where the work is presented. The artist made this work using the model of the gallery space. Spatio-temporality is revealed in the video through the slow motion of the camera placed in the center of the space, rotating symmetrically. The monotonous, slow horizontal movement of the camera synchronizes with the slowness of burning candles shown in the foreground of the image, which melt away over time. Light from the burning candles changes the physicality and spatiality of the room, which in the end returns to its normal shape.
Landscapes and Monochromes, a series of collages on canvas by Anna Ostoya, are made out of economic cycles and numbers transformed into abstract images, where information is readable but missing. A profusion of economic cycles unifies visual information with a horror vacui aesthetics, but conceptually the work calls for the opposite. The collages 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.
Marker, a three-channel video installation by Jacek Malinowski, is a fictional story of a member of an informal alter-globalist group called Markers, who try to free themselves from the fictive world of global capitalism. This system is so overwhelming, the only gesture that hasn’t been yet conquered by it is the atavist “territorial pissing”. The film is also a study of how the impossibility of regaining “oneself” causes a growing frustration and aggression, something that generally delineates one’s transition into a mad person.
Dan Miller’s drawings employ language as their fundamental subject and departure point. His works take the form of accumulations of written descriptive texts, alphabets, and numerical sequences. Superimposed on top of one another, these individual words, numbers and phrases start to merge, creating fields of partially obscured and often illegible texts. Miller’s works intuitively combine both conceptual and expressive approaches to create an idiosyncratic hybrid form.
The site-specific installation Displacements by Mikolaj Szoska deals with situation, where the gallery space has become the subject of the work. A public sphere and its social aspect are in- separable from the individual psychological condition of experiencing it. The work takes the form of exhibition as a medium, executed through a system of sculptural, spatial and color interventions within the space of CCS Bard Galleries, establishing a spatio-temporal framework that responds to the theme of Derangement and determines the total experience of the exhibition.
Dineo Seshee Bopape was born in 1981 in Polokwane, South Africa. She graduated from the Durban Institute of Technology in 2004. She is currently studying her Master’s degree in Fine Arts at Columbia University, New York. Bopape’s work has been exhibited in the exhibition Younger Than Jesus, the first edition of The Generational, a new triennial at the New Museum, New York (2009). Other shows include: You Fucking, Horrible Bitch, solo show in Mart House Gallery, Amsterdam (2009); Rebelle: Art And Feminism 1969-2009 at the Museum voor Moderne Kunst Arnhem, Arnhem (2009). Beauty and Presure: Stenersen Museum, Oslo (2009). The artist lives and works in New York.
Saul Fletcher was born in Barton, UK in 1967. In 1983-1989 he studied at Stevedore in Hull, England, UK. His recent exhibitions include: solo show at Anton Kern Gallery, New York (2009/10), solo show at Alison Jacques, London (2009); Saints and Sinners, The Rose Art Museum of Brandeis University, Waltham (2009); Une Saison à Bruxelles: Galerie Neu at Dépendance, Brussels (2008); Disappearances, Shadows and Illusions, Miami Art Museum, Miami (2008) and Second Thoughts, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson (2008). Fletcher lives and works in London.
Hege Loenne was born in 1961 in Trondheim, Norway. She has studied at The Academy of Fine Arts, Warsaw and Kunstakademiet, Trondheim. Her recent shows include: Picnic at Hanging Rock, Czarna Gallery, Warsaw (2009); Skyline,Sandnes kommune og Rogaland Fylkeskommune (2008); Horizon, Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw (2008); The Mysterious Garden, Casino, Podkowa Lesna (2007); NOI – New Optical Instrument, Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw (2006). Via Space, Troendelag Senter for Samtidskunst / Galleri Babel, Trondheim (2006). The artist lives and works in Warsaw.
Jacek Malinowski was born in 1964 in Warsaw, Poland. He graduated from The Academy of Fine Arts, Warsaw, Poland and Mason Gross School of The Arts / Rutgers University, USA. His recent shows and screenings include Fitness (solo show) in Gallery Arsenal, Bialystok (2009); WHERE TO GO? Notes on Transformation after 1989, Gallery <rotor>, Graz, Austria (2009);Agent Absurd, Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast, Northern Ireland (2009); Limbs and Spines: New Video from Poland, Institute of Contemporary Art, Sofia, Bulgaria (2009); ARTISTERIUM 2009, Tbilisi, Georgia; Contemporary Voices in Visual Narrative, Gallery Studio 102, Utah State University, USA (2009). The artist lives and works in Warsaw.
Anna Ostoya was born in 1978 in Krakow, Poland. She studied at Parsons School of Art and Design in Paris and at Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main. In 2008/09 she participated at the Whitney Independent Study Program in New York City. Her work has been presented at Portikus in Frankfurt am Main (2005), Silverman Gallery in San Francisco (2006), Zacheta National Gallery in Warsaw (2007), Car Projects in Bologna, Lisson Gallery in London and CCS Bard, NY (2009), at Manifesta 7 in Rovereto (2008) and at the 2nd Athens Biennale (2009). Anna Ostoya lives and works in Krakow and New York City.
Dan Miller was born in 1961 in Castro Valley, California. His work was recently included in exhibitions And Other Essays in The Hessel Museum at Bard College (2009) and in Glossolalia: Languages of Drawing at MoMA, New York (2008). He participated inCreative Growth, an exhibition organized at White Columns for Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York (2007) and had a solo show in White Colums (2007). Miller’s work has been shown in numerous group exhibitions at Creative Growth’s Gallery, Oakland, and in shows at: Col- lection L’Art Brut, Lausanne (2006); Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco (2006). The artist lives in Hayward and works at Oakland’s Creative Growth Art Center.
Mikolaj Szoska was born in 1972 in Bronx, New York. He received his Masters Degree from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Detroit, Michigan. He has taught at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY and is currently an Adjunct Professor at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island. He has been engaged in many collaborative projects including work at the Guggenheim Museum Exhibition Design Department (Frank Lloyd Wright Exhibition: From Within Outward, 2009); Them Studio (MoMA/ PS1 Young Architects Program Competition, 2008); and a multidisciplinary theater company WaxFactory (2001-03). His recent exhibitions include Artis Gallery, New York, (2008); Emerging Artist Exhibition - DaimlerChrysler Financial Services, Berlin (2006); From Here on Out - Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, MI (2006). The artist lives and works in New York and Krakow.
Derangement is curated by Michal Jachula as part of the requirements for the master of arts degree in curatorial studies.
Student-curated projects 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 Board of Governors of the Center for Curatorial Studies, and by the Center’s Patrons, Supporters, and Friends. Special thanks to the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation.