In What’s Past is Prologue artists A.K. Burns and MPA present new projects paired with a selection of works from the Marieluise Hessel Collection, a private collection permanently on loan at the CCS. The artists chose these works in order to contextualize their practices individually and as collaborators, and to create a unique exhibition setting that informs their new projects, created with this situation in mind. A.K. presents a multi-channel video Touch Parade, while MPA presents a series of live performances using works from the Collection as a point of departure. A.K. and MPA’s projects, in conversation with their selections from the Hessel Collection, complicate commonly accepted understandings of their work and incite a discourse regarding contemporary genderqueer methodologies. Taken from Shakespeare’s The Tempest, the title suggests a connection between the influences exerted by our past on our present and future. The work of both artists is commonly contextualized through a history of art informed by a feminist discourse, and while both are tethered to this history, What’s Past is Prologue suggests that neither is bound to it.
A.K. Burns is an interdisciplinary artist, whose practice explores interpretations and implications of sexuality, power and language, often taking the form of sculpture, video, drawing or social actions. A.K. is a founding member of the artists activist group W.A.G.E. (Working Artists and the Greater Economy) and co-editor of RANDY, a bi-annual transfeminist arts magazine. Her 2010 collaboration with A.L. Steiner on the social sexual video “Community Action Center” was released simultaneously at Taxter and Spengemann, NY and Horton Gallery, Berlin. A.K., along with her partner Katherine Hubbard, was the artist-in-residence at Recess Activities Inc, NY. She received her MFA from Bard College, Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts and a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design. A.K. lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
MPA (b.1980) is a feminist and exhibitionist following a living art practice. Her solo and collaborative works focus on performance, often in combination with photography, film, text, and sculpture. Her work has been featured in exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; Art in General, NY; The Kitchen, NY; Larissa Goldston Gallery, NY; Higher Pictures, NY; 2010 Movement Research Festival, NY; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Pilot TV, Chicago; England; Zendai Museum of Modern Art, Shangai and Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Oaxaca, Mexico. MPA lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
What’s Past is Prologue is curated by Julia Paoli 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.