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EXHIBITION, THIS MUST BE THE PLACE, ON VIEW AT THE CENTER FOR CURATORIAL STUDIES, BARD COLLEGE, FROM FEBRUARY 6–20
Emily M. Darrow
First-Year Master’s Candidate Exhibition features work by artists connected to the Hudson Valley region
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College is pleased to announce This must be the place, an exhibition of contemporary art by artists who are connected in multifarious ways to the mid-Hudson region. The exhibition—cocurated by eight first-year students in the graduate curatorial studies program (Sarah Bachelier, Erica Fisher, Kerryn Greenberg, Geir Haraldseth, William Heath, Zeljka Himbele, Amy Mackie, and Natalie Woyzbun)—is the culmination of a semester-long research practicum. A series of films shot in the Hudson Valley will be screened at Bard on Friday, February 18. The exhibition will open on Sunday, February 6, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., and remain on view through Sunday, February 20, at the Center for Curatorial Studies. Admission is free; the museum is open Wednesday through Sunday, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.
This exhibition marks the first time that first-year graduate students have curated works outside of the Marieluise Hessel Collection, on permanent loan to the Center for Curatorial Studies. The eight students chose an alternate assignment: to create an exhibition from thorough research of a geographically defined area, the mid-Hudson region. During the process, the students discovered the richness of the Hudson Valley, not only of the art production within it, but also of the varied connections artists have to this region.
The artists that are included in this exhibition—David Bush, Tim Davis, Meghan Gerety, Katy Grannan, Peter Hutton, Peter Iannarelli, Gillian Jagger, Stevan Jennis, Alison Moritsugu, Catherine Murphy, Ben Neill and Bill Jones, Michael Phelan, John Pilson, Richard Prince, Paul Ramirez-Jonas, Lisa Sanditz, Steven Siegel, Penelope Umbrico, and others—show the spectrum of these relationships. In turn, the works included in This must be the place, investigate, both literally and conceptually, the meaning of connecting one’s self to place through nature, ownership, land, commercialism, industry, and psychological relationships.
Some of the works directly reflect the immediate surroundings of the Hudson Valley, such as Peter Hutton’s film In Titan’s Goblet, whose vignettes create a portrait of the Hudson River and surrounding areas. By painting directly onto a tree trunk in her work, Trophy, Alison Moritsugu references the art history of the region, but reinterprets the traditional sublime landscapes with an infusion of humor and kitsch. A video and sound piece by Ben Neill and Bill Jones unites actual footage of upstate New York with footage of 19th-century landscape paintings to create fluidity between real and imagined perceptions of the land, both of which are directly distorted by the score.
Other works reflect human intervention—both harmonious and discordant—in various forms of place that are apparent everywhere. Icons of human presence persist through Lisa Sanditz’s paintings, such as the gas station within a tree-scape of Tie-dye Trees and Car Wash, Erwin, Tennessee. These moments also exist in sequences of basketball hoops, pools, and potted plants that appear in the yards pictured in Richard Prince’s photographs in his Upstate series.
Both Steven Siegel and Peter Iannerelli create their works from products that were originally derived from nature but were processed through industry. Siegel utilizes recyclable materials for his wall-mounted sculptures, while Iannarelli
constructs a tower of pencils and paper. Their investigations into place call into question the relationship between our natural environment and its commercial use, and both point to the cyclical relationship between the two.
The human presence within both the natural world and one’s conception of place is literalized in Katy Grannan’s Sugar Camp Road series, as she places her subjects into the physicality of the landscape to reveal their psychological disconnection from it. Penelope Umbrico’s Door Openings (From Catalogs) places the viewer’s body within her work, situating it in front of her images of vistas seen through doors in mail-order catalogues that are blown up to actual size; the viewer is positioned inside, looking out through the image, which seems familiar and alien at once.
In This must be the place, a multiplicity of connections to place, intersections between man and nature, and the cyclical relationships that define our existence in this cultural landscape are all explored through the presented artworks. The title of the show, then, expresses both affirmation and uncertainty, simultaneously resolving and questioning our relationship to our physical, psychological, natural, and contrived surroundings.
SPECIAL EVENT: This must be the place Film Screening
A special-event film screening will be held in the Milton Avery Cinema on Friday, February 18, at 7:30 p.m. The Hudson Valley’s rich history of nurturing artistic development reflects current art practices in the area. This film screening complements the exhibition, This must be the place, which presents artwork created by current inhabitants of the region. Several films shot in the area in the 1960s and 1970s showcase this heritage.
Films to be screened are: Bud Wirtschafter’s What’s Happening (1963), a series of “Happenings” that took place on artist George Segal’s farm; Jonas Mekas’s Report from Millbrook (1965–66), shot at a Millbrook mansion; Jud Yalkut’s Aquarian Rushes (1970), filmed at the Woodstock Festival; and Yalkut’s John Cage Mushroom Hunting in Stony Point (1972–73), a documentation of composer John Cage at his home. The event is free and open to the public.
For further information about the exhibition and films, call the Center for Curatorial Studies at 845.758.7598, e-mail email@example.com, or visit www.bard.edu/ccs/exhibitions.
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This event was last updated on 11-01-2006