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The Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College (CCS Bard) Presents: Monogamy

An exhibition by Gerard Byrne and Sarah Pierce

Mark Primoff
Rehearsal Mariona Otero  Image Credit: Sarah Pierce
On View March 24 – May 26, 2013 in the CCS Bard Galleries

Opening receptions: Sunday, March 24, 2013 from 1:00-4:00pm, and April 20, 2013 from 1:00-4:00pm

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, NY, March, 2013 – The Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College (CCS Bard) presents Monogamy, a major exhibition by Gerard Byrne and Sarah Pierce, curated by Tirdad Zolghadr.  Monogamy will show three works by Byrne - New Sexual Lifestyles (2003), In Repertory (2004),  and A Thing is a Hole in a Thing it is Not (2010), and three works by Pierce - It’s Time Man. It Feels Imminent. (2008), Future Exhibitions (2009-ongoing), and The Artist Talks (2012).  The exhibition project combines video, performance, sculptural arrangements, student workshops, theatrical elements and public lectures. It reflects a shared interest on behalf of Byrne and Pierce as well as Zolghadr in testing the possibilities of the exhibition format, in terms of both durational frame and spatial divisions.

“Monogamy is something you endure. It is neither a rational, nor a natural state of affairs, but a sustained condition. In the best of cases, monogamy highlights the idea of commitment as an institution. It denaturalizes commitment even as it consolidates it.

Although this exhibition presents commonalities between two different oeuvres, it does not mark a collaboration. Nor a classic duo show. Instead, it takes advantage of long-term familiarities that allow for more experimentation than is usually appropriate.

For one, Monogamy builds on the memory of exhibitions past. Half the artworks have previously been installed within the same CCS Bard galleries. For another, the boundaries between the works are comparatively porous. Like any institution, monogamy implies a degree of dedifferentiation. It encourages ideas to bleed into each other over time. Pierce’s Future Exhibitions and Byrne’s In Repertory, for example, are exhibited in “cannibalized” form, with the artworks sourcing each other as material.

The show emphasizes a recurring trope in the work of both artists; the artist’s voice. This is especially plain to see in Byrne’s A Thing is a Hole in a Thing it is Not and Pierce’s The Artist Talks. Both address the complex relationship between artist and work, and both address the artist’s voice, which is expected to sanctify the ties that bind. In one form or another, most artworks in the exhibition invoke the stage. As a charged location and as a privileged position through which the work can be spoken to and answered for.

This project was initiated when the artists Gerard Byrne and Sarah Pierce were invited to teach at CCS Bard, Fall 2011. The two artists are married and have a son, and for them it was a rare opportunity for the family to travel together. For the school, it was a rare opportunity to invite two artists of this caliber in one fell swoop. Monogamy, in other words, refers to working conditions in the arts that are surprisingly hard to address.”

-Tirdad Zolghadr, Curator

Drawing on disparate historical forms from theater and television to Playboy magazine, Gerard Byrne often works with actors to make video works that reconstruct conversations, interviews, and discussions from the recent past, with particular reference to histories of Modernity, and Counter-Culture.  His work has been exhibited at Documenta 13, the 54th Venice Biennale, and in Sydney, Gwangju, Lyon, and Istanbul biennales. Recent solo exhibitions include Whitechapel Art Gallery, London 2013, Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon 2012, IMMA Dublin and the Renaissance Society Chicago (2011), and the 2007 Venice Biennale, where he represented Ireland.

Since 2003, Sarah Pierce has used the term “The Metropolitan Complex” to describe her practice, which involves working methods including performance, installation, selfpublishing, and collaborations with various archives. Her work has shown most recently in solo exhibitions at NCAD Gallery, Dublin and The Showroom, London and she has presented projects in a number of international biennials, including Lyon 2011, Sinopale 2010, Moscow 2007 and Venice in 2003 where she represented Ireland in the national pavilion. Her first artist monograph “Sketches of Universal History Compiled by Many Authors”, published by Book Works and edited by Rike Frank will launch as part of the opening of Monogamy.
Tirdad Zolghadr is a curator and writer who is LUMA Fellow and Senior Academic Advisor at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College NY a position he has held for the past three years. His writing includes novels, essays and criticism, his curatorial work includes two international biennials (which?) and a number of discreet durational projects.  He is the editor of CCS Bard’s online publication Red Hook Journal –

New Hours: The CCS Bard Galleries and Hessel Museum of Art at Bard College are open Thursday through Sunday from 11:00a.m. to 6:00 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 from  New York City for the March 24 and April 20 openings. Reservations are required; call +1 845-758-7598 or email

About the Center for Curatorial Studies
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.

General information on the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College can be found on its website at:

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Mark Primoff, Director of Communications

Tel: +1 845.758.7412      




Ramona Rosenberg, External Affairs Manager

Tel: +1 (845) 758-7574



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This event was last updated on 03-15-2013