February 7, 2010 - March 21, 2010
CCS Bard Library

The Office for Parafictional Research was established to study the implications of Headless, a body of work by the artist duo Goldin+Senneby. For the past three years, the Stockholm-based collaborators have been investigating an offshore company called Headless Ltd. as part of a larger inquiry into strategies of absence, invisibility, and withdrawal. Their project, also known as Headless, has emerged in a number of formats thus far, including lectures and readings, a series of newspaper interventions, a number of critical essays, a scattering of stage-like tableaux, a documentary film, and—most important—a serial novel-in-progress. But Goldin+Senneby’s own position remains elusive, as they outsource all representations of their work to independent practitioners and dispatch spokespeople on their behalf for public events.

Using methods informed by literary criticism, the Office for Parafictional Research offers a means of approaching these absent artists and their search for the offshore company. The term “parafiction” has recently been deployed to describe a category of art operating in the grey area between fiction and reality, and seems an appropriate lens for looking both at Headless as an artistic proposition, and at offshore as a legal and financial practice. Staffed by founder and director, Ginny Kollak, the Office for Parafictional Research is a functioning workstation, reading area, and archive of materials dealing with Headless and related topics, currently headquartered in the CCS Bard Library. In addition, the Office for Parafictional Research has joined forces with Brian Droitcour of Rhizome to organize a minisymposium on Headless featuring Goldin+Senneby’s spokesperson, economic geographer Angus Cameron.


Goldin+Senneby is the framework for collaboration set up by artists Simon Goldin and Jakob Senneby to explore juridical, financial, and spatial constructs through notions of the performative and the virtual. In the last year the artists had solo shows at Index, Stockholm, and The Power Plant, Toronto; recent group exhibitions include The Malady of Writing, MACBA, Barcelona (2009); Feedforward: The Angel of History, LABoral, Gijon (2009); The Man behind the Curtain, Mission 17, San Francisco (2009); TINA, The Drawing Room, London (2008); and the 28th Bienal de São Paulo (2008). Based in Stockholm, Goldin+Senneby have been working together since 2004.


The Headless Conference
Friday, March 19, 7– 9 p.m.
New Museum, 235 Bowery, New York

Featuring Angus Cameron, lecturer in human geography at the University of Leicester and emissary for Goldin+Senneby; Brian Droitcour, Rhizome staff writer; Keller Easterling, professor of architecture at Yale University; Ginny Kollak, director of the Office for Parafictional Research and second-year graduate student at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College; and Allan Stoekl, professor of French at Penn State University

The Office for Paraficitional Research Presents Headless: Work by Goldin+Senneby is curated by Ginny Kollak 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.