“Things” are often understood as objects that neither carry agency nor affect the world. The action of things is a group exhibition focusing on work that investigates things and more specifically, stones and stars–aspects of matter that are so present that they can be considered global. The artists in this exhibition, Rubén Grilo, João Gusmão & Pedro Paiva, Cristóbal Lehyt, Trevor Paglen, and Jorge Satorre, all look at inanimate materials and challenge their supposed passivity. This approach rejects the division between a world of the inert things, on the one hand, and a world of animate beings, on the other. Thus, it grants us the possibility of re-experiencing the world, as populated by things with agency. The exhibition considers temporary networks of relations between human and non-human actors. It investigates the ways that things mediate, construct, or sustain assemblies and, as a result, have agency similar—or at least comparable—to that of human beings. Their viewers are propelled into an uncertain universe that undoes taken-for-granted perceptions of nature.
Jorge Satorre, (b. 1979, Mexico) lives in Barcelona and Mexico DF. Satorre’s recent solo exhibitions has taken place in Le Grand Café Contemporary Art Centre (Saint-Nazaire), Montehermoso or at Galerie Xippas, Paris; Satorre participated in numerous group shows internationaly at Gassworks, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, CA2M, Palais de Tokyo, Museo Carrillo Gil, La Capella, FLACC, or Galería Labor.
Trevor Paglen, (b. 1974, USA) lives and works in San Francisco Paglen’s visual work has been exhibited at the Tate Modern, London; The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA); Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams; the 2008 Taipei Biennial; the 2009 Istanbul Biennial, and has been featured in numerous publications including The New York Times, Wired, Newsweek, Modern Painters, Aperture, and Art Forum.
Cristóbal Lehyt, (b. 1974, Chile) lives and works in New York. Lehyt more recent solo shows took place at Fundación Telefónica, Künstlerhaus Stuttgart, Germany Room Gallery, University of California Irvine or Galería Metropolitana. In group shows at the 7th Mercosul Biennia, Ludlow 38, Sezession Wichtelgasse, A Gentil Carioca or Temporary Gallery. He is the first recipient of BECA AMA for a residency at Gasworks.
João Maria Gusmão (b. 1979, Portugal) & Pedro Paiva (b. 1977, Portugal) live and work in Lisboa; In the last decade the duo has participated in international contexts such as the 27th Bienal de São Paulo, the 6th Mercosul Biennial, Manifesta 7, PhotoEspaña 08 along with exhibitions at CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco and Kunstverein Hanover, or the Ikon Gallery.
Rubén Grilo. (b. 1981, Spain) lives and works in Amsterdam. In 2010, the first solo exhibition of his work, entitled Here, There, Backward, Forward, Mirror, Hole, Through, Against, was held at the Maribel López Gallery Berlin. He has participated in group exhibitions at CGAC, Centre d’Art la Panera, CA2M, Casa Encendida among others. From January 2011 he will be attending to the Rijkakademie in Amsterdam.
The action of things is curated by Manuela Moscoso 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. Additional support is provided by the Monique Beudert Award Fund.