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CCS Bard Exhibition and Projects Series to Host Second Opening on April 11


Darren O'Sullivan

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – On Sunday, April 11, the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College (CCS Bard) presents the second part in a series featuring 12 exhibitions and projects, curated by 14 second-year students, and including work by more than 40 leading and emerging contemporary artists, at the CCS Bard Galleries and Library. Presented in two groups (the first ran February 7 – March 21), these projects focus on diverse concepts and themes and represent an international body of artists working in a variety of mediums. These exhibitions are the culmination of the students’ work for the master’s degree. The CCS Bard Galleries and Hessel Museum of Art at Bard College are open Wednesday through Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. All CCS Bard exhibitions and public programs are free and open to the public. Limited free seating is available on a chartered bus that leaves from New York City for the April opening. The bus returns to New York City after the event. Reservations are required; call 845-758-7598 or email

The second series of exhibitions opens on Sunday, April 11, with a reception from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., and is on view through Sunday, May 23. The exhibitions are: Living Modern, including work by artists Heidrun Holzfeind and Damon Rich and writer Niko Vicario, curated by Laura Barlow; Not Again, with work by Andrea van der Straeten, curated by Sarah Demeuse; SECOND COMINGa curatorial collaboration, including work by Nástio Mosquito, Thando Mama, Metapong, and Pablo Rasgado, curated by Gabi Ngcobo, Carlos E. Palacios, and Andrea Torreblanca; Requires extra budget for lettuce, with work by Jacob Stewart-Halevy, curated by Mackenzie Schneider; and The Bomb Ponds: Work by Vandy Rattana, curated by Francesca Sonara.

Two of the 12 projects will occur outside of the CCS Bard Galleries: How to Begin? Envisioning the Impact of Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, a publication and public discussion, including contributions by Regine Basha, Hassan Khan, Sohrab Mohebbi, Didem Özbek, and Sarah Rifky, curated by Özge Ersoy; and Up River, A Hudson River Expedition with artist Marie Lorenz, curated by Diana Stevenson.

Student-curated exhibitions and 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. Special thanks to the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation.

For additional information, call 845-758-7598, e-mail, or visit

Center for Curatorial Studies and Hessel Museum of Art

The Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College (CCS Bard) is an exhibition, education, and research center dedicated to the study of art and curatorial practices from the 1960s to the present day. In addition to the CCS Bard Galleries and Hessel Museum of Art, the Center houses the Marieluise Hessel Collection, as well as an extensive library and curatorial archives that are accessible to the public. The Center’s two-year M.A. program in curatorial studies is specifically designed to deepen students’ understanding of the intellectual and practical tasks of curating contemporary art. Exhibitions are presented year-round in the CCS Bard Galleries and Hessel Museum of Art, providing students with the opportunity to work with world-renowned artists and curators. The exhibition program and the Hessel Collection also serve as the basis for a wide range of public programs and activities exploring art and its role in contemporary society.

CCS Bard Upcoming Thesis Exhibitions—Group Two

April 11 – May 23, 2010

CCS Bard Galleries and Library, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York


Opening reception Sunday, April 11, 1–4 p.m.

Living Modern

Heidrun Holzfeind, Damon Rich, Niko Vicario

Curator: Laura Barlow

Artist Heidrun Holzfeind, designer and artist Damon Rich, and writer Niko Vicario consider the legacy of modernist architecture, urban redevelopment, and self-determination in Newark, New Jersey, in an exhibition of new cross-disciplinary works produced on and around the 58-acre urban renewal site of Mies van der Rohe’s Colonnade and Pavilion Apartments. Built between 1954 and 1960, the Colonnade and Pavilion Apartments—three glass-and-steel towers—and the Christopher Columbus Homes—eight brick towers—marked the beginning of urban renewal in Newark. By the mid-1970s, this program of demolition and reconstruction had transformed and modernized nearly one-third of the city, as its methods were increasingly questioned by local social movements associated with civil rights and Black Power activist groups.

New works conceived for this exhibition consider how the formal designs of modernist architecture and planning, and the aggressive, deeply politicized modernization of Newark, have impacted the everyday lives of residents and their communities. Holzfeind presents a new documentary film and installation on the Colonnade and Pavilion Apartments that consider how the social fabric of these buildings has been shaped over time by their architecture. Rich presents models and drawings that explore the site, along with its alternative histories and possible futures. Vicario contributes an essay that explores how notions of “site” are mobilized between and across the fields of art and architecture, taking Mies van der Rohe’s apartment buildings and the surrounding area in Newark as a point of departure.

Presentation and Discussion

Thursday, April 15, 5–7 p.m.

Preston Theater, Bard College

Artist Heidrun Holzfeind, designer/artist Damon Rich, and writer Niko Vicario present and discuss Living Modern. This event is held in conjunction with “Architecture after 1945,” a course taught by Noah Chasin, Art History Program, Bard College, and the Environmental and Urban Studies (EUS) Colloquium, an event series programmed by the EUS academic concentration, Bard College.


Not Again, “Making History” Reimagined

Artist: Andrea van der Straeten

Curator: Sarah Demeuse

The beginning: 18 installation shots, a press release, a gallery leaflet. These remainders of Making History, a 1999 CCS Bard thesis exhibition, are the backbone of Andrea van der Straeten’s unusual inquiry into a past show’s propositions. Her 2010 tweaked reinterpretation emerges out of conversations and collaborative research with the curator, who was eager to know and use what came before. Not Again takes place in the same gallery space as Making History, but it appears as an echo and functions as a cabinet of interpretations. 

Visitors meander between past and present exhibitions, immersing themselves in the aural and textual juxtaposition. Not Again suggests repetition, but refuses exact reproduction. Instead, it heightens ephemerality and explores the differences in subjective memory, interpretation, and observation.

Van der Straeten’s encounter with the archived documents and her ensuing readings brought about new works on paper—site-specific wall drawings—and sculptural interventions. Not Again riffs off the spatial distribution in the original exhibition. Van der Straeten also associates the show’s historical references, the Kent State shootings and the social upheavals of the late 1960s, with literary texts from other historical periods. As a whole, her work interrupts linear patterns of history making and focuses on recurring idioms in political rhetoric.

Working from Vienna, van der Straeten’s distance from the original exhibition is both temporal and spatial. Her work at Bard continues her ongoing research into informal and uncertain forms of communication. In Not Again, she combines her long-standing interest in literature and communication science into a temporary gallery installation.


Panel Discussion:

Saturday, April 24, 1–3 p.m.

CCS Bard Galleries

“Unpacking the Exhibition Archive”
Public in-gallery panel with Ann Butler (director of library and archives, CCS Bard), Kari Conte (independent curator), and Prem Krishnamurthy (Project Projects).  


Second Cominga curatorial collaboration

Artists: Nástio Mosquito, Thando Mama, Metapong, and Pablo Rasgado

Curators: Gabi Ngcobo, Carlos E. Palacios, Andrea Torreblanca

Second Coming is a collaboration that explores notions of absence, the phantasmagoric, and postcolonial subjectivities. Attracted by the manner in which the artists’ practices articulate quasi-transcendental aesthetics as well as resistance to the lure of spatial identification, the curators and artists present opportunities to ask not how to find a ghost, but if that which haunts history and place can be addressed; not how to be present in absentia, but if, in absence, one’s presence can transform an environment; not if there is a relationship between the “self” and “other,” but if there are other selves that inhabit one. Central to the collaboration is a motivation to analyze the relationship between illusion and recognition, and an attempt to map that which refuses to be mapped. 

One of the common aspects defining this collective proposal is the idea of the curator as medium. As curators we act as agents, intervening in the production by transmitting certain particularities of the context to the artist’s discourse. The three projects that conform this proposal share multiple sites: one refers to the place where the artists are located during the production; another constitutes the space of CCS Bard (as a site-specific location); and the third is the place where communication between artists and curators occurs.


Monday, April 12, 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.

President’s Room, Kline Commons, Bard College

A conversation about the context of the contemporary Latin American art scene with artist Pablo Rasgado, Carlos Palacios, and students from the Latin American and Iberian Studies program at Bard College. The conversation will be held primarily in Spanish.

Wednesday, April 14, 5.30 – 7.30 p.m.  
Weis Cinema, Bard College  
“Oh what a circus!” A conversation between artist Nástio Mosquito and writer Binyavanga Wainaina, facilitated by Gabi Ngcobo. This conversation will depart from Africalls?, a documentary film created by a company from Barcelona, which features artists working from the urban context of seven African cities: Cape Town, Douala, Dakar, Luanda, Maputo, Nairobi, and Rabat.  


Requires extra budget for lettuce
Artist: Jacob Stewart-Halevy
Curator: Mackenzie Schneider
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.


Tuesday, April 13, 5 p.m.

Preston Theater, Bard College

Claire Gilman¸ independent curator and Arte Povera scholar, 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.


The Bomb Ponds: Work by Vandy Rattana

Curator: Francesca Sonara

In October 2009 photographer Vandy Rattana traveled to those Cambodian provinces most severely bombed by the U.S military during the Vietnam War. The goal of this journey was to reopen dialogue with local villagers on this traumatic history and to document the scarred landscape as it exists today.

Between 1964 and 1973, the United States dropped an estimated 2,756,941 tons of ordnance across Cambodia’s countryside. Today, the craters created by this action are known as “bomb ponds.” These water-filled oases conspicuously emerge from the midst of Cambodia’s lush green rice fields. Untouched and unnatural, these ponds remain as underdiscussed monuments from one of American history’s most controversial eras.

Unsatisfied with the level of documentation and investigation produced on the subject, Vandy Rattana decided to rectify the lack of discourse by producing a series of landscape photographs testifying to the existence of these craters as well as filmed interviews in which he asked villagers to describe either their memory of the bombing or their present understanding of the history symbolized by the craters. The resultant work is being exhibited for the first time at CCS Bard, with the hope that audience members will reconsider this historical thread and the extent of America’s actions during the Vietnam War.


Monday, April 12, 5 – 7 p.m.

Olin 102, Bard College

“The Presence of the Past,” a lecture by curator Erin Gleeson, who has been based in Phnom Penh for the past eight years, and a screening of The Land of Wandering Souls by Rithy Panh, Cambodia’s leading documentary filmmaker and founder of Bophana Audiovisual Resource Center.


How to Begin? Envisioning the Impact of Guggenheim Abu Dhabi

A publication and panel discussion

Contributors: Regine Basha, Hassan Khan, Sohrab Mohebbi, Didem Özbek, and Sarah Rifky

Curator: Özge Ersoy

How can the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi position itself beyond serving as a pragmatic tool to boost tourism in its locale? What role can it play in the existing arts infrastructure in the United Arab Emirates and the larger area of cultural structures defined by the term “Middle East”? How can this museum accrue value for artworks that are produced in this region and its diasporas? Taking its cue from these questions, How to Begin? Envisioning the Impact of Guggenheim Abu Dhabi presents a collection of essays by artists, curators, and writers. In a setting where all strategic plans and arguments reside in conjecture, this publication not only aims to introduce a set of critical responses to the most recent support structures in the arts, but also imagines alternative possibilities for how these structures might be built and influence the practice of artists, curators, and other cultural producers. This project is the manifestation of creative and critical activity at a time when the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi is yet to be built and the related questions linger without answers.

Panel Discussion:

Monday, April 19, 5 – 7 p.m. 

CCS Seminar Room

“How to Begin? Envisioning the Impact of Guggenheim Abu Dhabi” invites Negar Azimi, senior editor at Bidoun magazine, and Sohrab Mohebbi, M.A. candidate at the Center for Curatorial Studies, to explore the possible impacts of the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi on the art scenes of the Arab countries, Turkey, and Iran.

Up River

A Hudson River Expedition

Artist: Marie Lorenz

Curator: Diana Stevenson

Expedition presentation: Thursday, May 6, 7:30 p.m.     

Tivoli Town Hall

Marie Lorenz and Diana Stevenson will embark on a journey up the Hudson River in a small, homemade boat. Setting off in early April from an undisclosed location on the Bard College campus, they will navigate the tides and currents of the Hudson as they travel upriver toward Troy, for however long it takes. Episodes from this expedition will be communicated in real time from the boat to subscribers via e-mail, allowing an audience near and far to assemble a travelogue of the adventure in words and pictures. Details on how to subscribe will be available from the Center for Curatorial Studies in due course.

Following the expedition, Lorenz and Stevenson will give a lecture and slide show to report their findings at Tivoli Town Hall. This event is free and open to the public.

Marie Lorenz’s work is concerned with actual and imagined voyages of discovery. By constructing various small boats in response to her immediate environment, she uses waterways and the open sea to find alternative means to re-chart chartered territories, in the process revealing hidden narratives of our relationship with the world at large.

For additional information, call 845-758-7598, e-mail, or visit

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Press Contact:                                                             CCS Bard Contact:

Mark Primoff                                                                Ramona Rosenberg                                                 

845-758-7412                                                             845-758-7574

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This event was last updated on 04-15-2014