In Requires extra budget for lettuce, emerging conceptual artist Jacob Stewart-Halevy responds to Giovanni Anselmo’s early work in general and to the sculpture Untitled 1968 (Eating Structure), part of CCS Bard’s permanent collection, in particular.Anselmo is often identified as a key member of Arte Povera, and his oeuvre is characterized by its focus on the effect of natural processes on human experience. Taking the physical forces of nature, namely entropy and gravity, as its subject matter, Untitled 1968 consists of a head of lettuce wedged between two cement blocks held together by wire. As the lettuce wilts, the wire loosens, causing one of the cement blocks to fall. In order to combat this, the lettuce must be replaced regularly while on display—an act that generally goes unnoticed by gallery visitors. Stewart-Halevy highlights this element of the piece (on display elsewhere at CCS Bard) by turning the act of changing the lettuce into a performance in itself, documented throughout the duration of the exhibition. This idea of casting a narrative shadow over the work extends to other elements of the show, including a newspaper that strings together loose visual associations relating to the sculpture, as well as materials instructing docents, preparators, and even interns on how to present the work to the museum public. Stewart-Halevy will also present a film work that reimagines Anselmo’s processes of production in his studio as the result of an investigation of transparency, weight, and tension between his sculptures. Constructing fictionalized narratives at the moment when an Anselmo sculpture is on the verge of being realized, constructed, or displayed in an alternative way, calls into question the methodology and criteria that Anselmo might have applied to his own artworks.
Jacob Stewart-Halevy was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1981. He currently lives and works in New Haven, Connecticut where he is working towards a PhD in Art History at Yale. He received his BA in Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley and his MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles. His paintings, films and narrative works have been exhibited throughout North America including LAXART, Los Angeles, Richard Telles Fine Art, Los Angeles, Helen Pitt Gallery, Vancouver, Rachel Uffner Gallery, New York, Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Los Angeles and Cirrus Gallery, Los Angeles.
Tuesday, April 13, 5 p.m.
Preston Theater, Bard College
Independent curator and Arte Povera scholar, Claire Gilman will present an art historical perspective on the Arte Povera movement, contextualizing Giovanni Anselmo’s early practice. Thinking about the shifting contexts for artworks over time, Gilman will address how this work fits into the larger narrative of Arte Povera and how interpretations of the work have changed over the past 40 years.
Requires extra budget is curated by Mackenzie Schneider 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.