Personal Protocols and Other Preferences: existing video works by Esra Ersen and collages by Kirstine Roepstorff are mixed with 2 pieces made directly on the walls by Kirstine Roepstorff and a new production by Michael Beutler. The circulation of knowledge and re-use of existing and left-over spaces, forms and situations are strategic tools in the work of Bik Van der Pol group. Mobile Observation Station is a new project by Lisi Raskin, and Christian Philipp Muller's project, Hudson Valley Tastemakers, is an earth sculpture.
Michael Beutler, Esra Ersen, and Kirstine Roepstorff
Personal Protocols and Other Preferences
CCS Bard Galleries
Bik Van der Pol
I’ve Got Something in My Eye
CCS Bard Hessel Museum of Art
Mobile Observation (Transmitting and Receiving) Station
CCS Bard Audrey and Sydney Irmas Atrium
Christian Philipp Müller
Hudson Valley Tastemakers
Bard College Campus
Free transportation is available on a chartered bus that leaves from New York City for the opening reception. The bus returns to New York after the opening. For details and reservations, call 845.758.7598 or write firstname.lastname@example.org
PERSONAL PROTOCOLS AND OTHER PREFERENCES
Michael Beutler, Esra Ersen and Kirstine Roepstorff
Curated by Maria Lind
This collective exhibition brings together work by three artists whose practice engages intensively with situations marked by the reality of particular times and places, filtering them through distinct choices of methods and materials. There is a crafty aspect to the work which takes do-it-yourself techniques seriously as a way of questioning what is standard, whether it is man-made machines, videos filmed with a handheld camera or textile-like collages. Although the physical outcomes are radically different, all three of these artists strictly follow their own personal protocols of production.
In preparation for Personal Protocols and Other Preferences, Michael Beutler, Esra Ersen, and Kirstine Roepstorff all made a site visit to CCS Bard at the same time. Out of this encounter a collaboration developed. Wanting to challenge the clinical side of the CCS Galleries, the artists decided to think about the exhibition as a ”collective exhibition” rather than a normal group exhibition. In other words, in a common endeavor a number of decisions would be made collectively, particularly those pertaining to the installation. Thus, existing video works by Esra Ersen and collages by Kirstine Roepstorff are mixed with two new pieces made directly on the walls by Roepstorff and a new production by Michael Beutler.
Realizing that the CCS galleries, designed by architect James Goettsch and Nada Andric and built in 1992, are primarily made for showing painting and sculpture, for his new work Michael Beutler opted for excess, exaggerating the character of the space by adding even more walls. Made out of paper in different bright colors and reed, the walls are ”woven” together in a temporary ”workshop” that is located in the gallery space and will remain there throughout the exhibition. Beutler is also constructing a platform for one of Esra Ersen’s video installations and a tower from which viewers can take a closer look at Kirstine Roepstorff’s new wall work. Both allow visitors to experience the exhibition space from new perspectives.
Personal Protocols and Other Preferences is not a thematic exhibition. Nevertheless, works in the exhibition share some key concerns: conditions of production—in art and otherwise, the nature of labor, the function of the handmade, the importance of highly personal protocols, and, not least, the pleasures and pains of collaboration.
Michael Beutler (Oldenburg/Berlin, born 1976) explores and responds to architectural space, to its ”needs” and ”demands” as he understands them. His approach ranges from adding occasional elements to total takeovers and even complete makeovers. Sometimes his response is funny, bordering on the absurd, like the bright yellow Pecafil staircase in a dark derilict outhouse for the 2006 Berlin biennial. Sometimes it is more functional, like the 400m2 ceiling made out of wood and straw, inspired by windsurfing techniques, which gave the Kunstverein München a whole new floor for the 2003 exhibition Totally Motivated: A Socio-Cultural Maneouver. By adding constructions or elements made of modest materials like these to the already existing premises he is radically altering your perception of the space in question. At the same time, the process of production is as important as the eventual experience of what has been produced. The constructions and elements tend to be the product of a laborious handmade process involving machines and tools Beutler makes himself, as well labor by the artist and others. Ideally, the machines and tools, often built from recycled materials, contribute to the manufacturing process and create playful possibilities for action. Thus, Michael Beutler’s machines are about devices, gimmicks, and ways of killing time, as well as an attempt to solve practical problems, including economic problems. The installations are usually produced on site just before the exhibition opening.
In order to carry out her work, Esra Ersen (Istanbul/Berlin, born 1970) invests a lot of time and energy in winning people’s confidence, for only then can she collaborate with them and develop a piece of work. This was the case with a video she made in Istanbul, when her focus shifted from immigrant issues in Western Europe to a little-known situation in a country many of the immigrants come from. Together with a group of illegal immigrants from various African countries—who got stuck in Istanbul involuntarily on their way to Eastern Europe—Ersen looks in the video Brothers and Sisters at how they deal with life outside the system and the rampant racism whose continually changing forms of expression are reflected in the constantly moving camera. Several of Ersen’s works involve various languages and social boundaries, underscoring complications of cultural exchange. Her work is rich in staged situations in which negotiations involving her own subjective experience as a woman from Turkey is crucial and is placed in relief to Western culture and its expectations of ”the other”. Language, migration, and integration are key notions in most of Ersen’s work, which investigates constructions of various kinds of identities—national, ethnic, gender, and class—through the perception of others and protagonists alike. Her method can be described as “soft directing”—she sets up a framework in which those involved can maneuver freely.The work may then take form in many ways, from photography and videos to installations and dramatized situations. The common denominator is that Ersen allows herself to be influenced by the site or location of her work. The videos often share a formal language with home videos and they are eventually presented in precisely staged installations.
Kirstine Roepstorff (Copenhagen/Berlin, born 1972) excels in creating large-scale collages reminiscent of textiles and full of intricate details from varying contexts. At one and the same time the viewer encounters parts of newspaper articles, pieces of cloth, strands of tinfoil, cutouts from brightly colored silk paper, photocopied photographs, ribbons, postcards, and lace. Roepstorff calls her method “appropriarranging,” by which she dissolves one context in order to create a new one. She frequently makes use of information found in the Penguin State of the World Atlas and daily newspapers. In the works Amnat and Satsit and Zarema, she refers to the first names of three Chechen “Black widows,” female suicide killers who have all experienced personal absence and loss with strong psychosocial aspects. Like many of Kirstine Roepstorff’s works, these question the validity of cultural values and norms. The viewer is also reminded that what is left out of an image is as important as what remains. Yet, while Roepstorff’s pictures tell disrupted stories that can be read as isolated chapters of a narrative, they also offer space for contemplation. The capacity to imagine is constantly at play in her work, suggesting subjective readings and interpretations of our reality, directed by Roepstorff’s own choices of inclusion and exclusion.
Michael Beutler, Esra Ersen, and Kirstine Roepstorff worked together with curator Maria Lind to select the works to be included in this exhibition, and to design the installation format. Click here to view a detailed exhibition checklist.
BIK VAN DER POL
I've Got Something in My Eye
Liesbeth Bik and Jos van der Pol have worked collectively since 1995 as Bik Van der Pol. The circulation of knowledge and re-use of existing and left-over spaces, forms and situations are important strategic tools in their work. Much of their work may also be described as context-sensitive and constructively critical: that is, they examine a particular context and question the functions of art, including those of art institutions. For this project, Bik Van der Pol bring together works from the Marieluise Hessel Collection, selections from the collection of the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, their own works, and ephemera from the CCS Bard archive. Following Henri Bergson’s idea that perception is a function of time, the artists have allowed themselves to look at how works potentially are surrounded by different sources of knowledge and how they sometimes grow from and are feed back into these connections. Objects, once acquired for specific reasons, are in a constant flux of changing meaning, both in the context and dynamics of a collection (which means continuously in the company other concepts and perceptions), as well as in time. Bik Van der Pol describe the project as a process of ‘uploading with circumstantial evidence’, a method that proposes a new circle of communication between different types of 'reflections', based on premises of ambiguity. In other words: adding to the flux of changing meaning.
Bik Van Der Pol
Working collectively, Bik Van der Pol explore the potential of art to produce and transmit knowledge and research methods of how to activate situations in order to create a platform for various kinds of communicative activities. Their work engages with revitalization of memory in the present and with questions of knowledge and history, thus creating the necessary potential for a dialogue and an ever-reforming discourse through which they develop an understanding of situations that surround us. The circulation of knowledge and reuse of existing and leftover spaces, forms, and situations are important strategic tools in their work. Critically and constructively, they address “normal” situations not by adding yet another new idea to the cycle of production and consumption, but by revising and reactivating an existing situation. Notions of detachment, such as displacement, reconstruction, and copying, allow something to outgrow its original roots, boundaries or limitations, and can be mobilized as instruments to enclose a collection or intellectual domain to critically explore its potential. Their work aims to improve situations, add what is missing, highlight what is in the dark and to open rather than close. Bik Van der Pol often set up situations where people can meet to exchange thoughts and ideas. Much of their work may also be described as context-sensitive and constructively critical; that is, they examine a particular context and question the functions of art, including those of art institutions.
With, for example, The Bookshop Piece (1996) and Proposition for Reclaiming a Space (1997) Bik Van der Pol re-introduced the discourse on and the practice of art into the very same arena where art is shown. As one of the initiators of the group “Nomads & Residents” they created a platform for presentations by artists, critics, curators, architects, and others (www.nomadsresidents.org). Married by Powers (2002, TENT., Rotterdam) is an exhibition project researching the significance of an international art collection. On the invitation of Frac Nord-Pas de Calais (Dunkerque) Bik Van der Pol started from the premise that a collection only comes alive when taken into operation; when the objects are being shown and allowed to function as 'working papers' at large. Married by Powers enlightens aspects of 'the collection' (transport, storage, presentation, documentation, mediation, public, personal interpretation) and attempts to create transparency by bringing the collection ‘into action’ as material, as a discussion piece.
Their recent project for the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, Plug In #28 Pay Attention, reflects upon the museum as a place where information or knowledge is collected, kept and made accessible. An important finding from this project is that the availability or lack of information has a significant influence on our ideas of past, present and future. What information is kept in the museum? What information is made accessible? How does the visitor deal with it? These questions are further elucidated using both their own work and those in the Van Abbemuseum’s collection.
Furthermore, their work has been shown widely, for instance in Associates, London; Art In General, New York; Kunsthaus Graz, Modelle fur Morgen, European Kunsthalle; Trans(cient) City, Luxemburg; Differentiated Neighborhoods, Belgrade (2007), INSA Art Space, Seoul; Fly Me To The Moon, a project for the New Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; Periferic 7, Strategies of Learning, Biennale Iasi, Rumania (2006); Secession, Vienna; Witte de With, Rotterdam (2005).
MOBILE OBSERVATION (TRANSMITTING AND RECEIVING) STATION
A project by LISI RASKIN
Mobile Observation (Transmitting and Receiving) Station is a new project by Lisi Raskin commissioned by the Center for Curatorial Studies as part of it's first artist-in-residence program. On April 14, 2008, Raskin departed CCS Bard in a converted cargo van for a month-long journey across the American west to visit sites of nuclear testing and development.
Raskin writes: "Over the past five years, I have been investigating land use and its relationship to the architecture of war. My projects usually unfold according to the following logic; I travel to a site and gather as much information as possible and then distill this research into a body of work that takes the form of drawings, videos, sculptures, and site-specific installations. I usually make this artwork in my studio and directly in the institution or gallery where it is to be shown. The perimeters of Mobile Observation Station offer a slight departure from my usual process and an opportunity to deepen my relationship to my subject matter. The Mobile Observation Station is a cargo van transformed into a roving workspace equipped with the tools and materials I need for the project. This very fact enables me to make artwork directly in the landscape through which I travel."
Throughout her journey, Raskin will send art works and ephemera back to headquarters at the Center for Curatorial Studies, where they will be processed and displayed by CCS Bard graduate students in a post office/receiving station constructed specifically for the project. The entire Audrey and Sydney Irmas Atrium has been re-configured into a plywood bunker cum post office replete with satellite dish, an artwork receiving station, and an audio and video diary station, which will be updated with intermittent transmissions from the field.
The installation will be on view at CCS Bard daily from April 13 - September 7, 2008.
Mobile Observation (Transmitting and Receiving) Station is a continuation of Mobile Observation Station: Command and Control, a new work commissioned by CCS Bard in February 2008 for the exhibition High Resolution, at the Seventh Regiment Armory in New York City.
SITES, TRANSMISSIONS, AND ARTWORKS
Raskin's itinerary tracks a selection of sites that range in function from atomic laboratories to underground missile silos and test sites. Follow the links below to view details, photographs, and "transmissions" from each location the artist visits on her journey.
WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE and TRINITY TEST SITE
The site of the world's first nuclear blast
TITAN MISSILE MUSEUM
The only publically accessible Titan II missile site in the US
About the Artist
In Lisi Raskin’s work, a highly personal worldview is often juxtaposed with a factual situation, with palpable political implications. Her “spaces of fear” are somewhat naive reconstructions and depictions of parts of bunkers, nuclear power stations, and missiles, but also more abstract reenactments of particular atmospheres.
Lisi Raskin lives and works in Brooklyn. She received a B.A. in fine arts from Brandeis University and an M.F.A. from Columbia University. Her work has been exhibited internationally at various institutions, including the Frankfurter Kunstverein in Germany; the Contemporary Art Center in Vilnius, Lithuania; and P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in New York. Raskin has contributed to the P.S.1 Newspaper, North Drive Press and HTV Magazine, and she has published reviews in Frieze and C Magazine. She was the 2005 recipient of the Guna S. Mundheim Fellowship from the American Academy in Berlin. In 2007 she was an artist-in-residence at Iaspis in Stockholm, Sweden, and is currently artist in residence at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College.
CHRISTIAN PHILIPP MUELLER
Hudson Valley Tastemakers
Christian Philipp Müller’s project, Hudson Valley Tastemakers, is an earth sculpture on the grounds of Bard College that examines the specific tastes of foods resulting from the changing nature, soil and climate of the Hudson Valley and creates a “utopian test site” for new ideas and tastes of the Hudson Valley. Originally installed in 2003, this permanent installation is comprised of six ramp-planters that are filled with soil from Putnam, Dutchess, Columbia, Greene, Ulster and Orange Counties; and contains both planned and spontaneous vegetation. The length of each planter is determined by the proportionate farmland still available in the county. This summer CCS Bard will reinvigorate the project with new plantings, including Calendula Zeolights, Amaranth Burgundy and Pepper Chile Pasilla Bajio.
Taken from The New World, A Sort of Locus Amoenus by Christian Philipp Muller: The monumental volume projects obliquely from the grounds conveying the impression that it has sunk into the earth on one side. Actually, it was built as a form with increasing height, adjusted to the celestial coordinates. The volume with its trapezoid-shaped side walls was filled with earth to the brim. The steel bed, partitioned into several segments, contains plants. The overall impression of the object is that of an extended pedestal, a gangway with plants sitting on it like figures. Each segment reflects the agricultural yields of the various upstate counties. The fields are framings and embeddings in a literal sense. Putnam, Greene, Ulster, Orange, Dutchess, and Columbia present themselves from the east to the west. Before deciding on his selection of plants from the various counties, Muller talked to local farmers and acquainted himself with traditions of cultivation, as well as preferred varieties and their profitability. He especially looked into almost extinct flavors and sorts which are being replaced by more profitable ones. His interest focused on old and new taste, which is why he also titled his work “Hudson Valley Tastemakers.” Today’s economy of the Hudson Valley is mainly based on income from tourism and the taste of people who come from the City and look for recreation; the importance of agriculture has become marginal. It is rather the image of the landscape that attracts visitors
CCS Bard exhibitions are made possible with support from the Audrey and Sydney Irmas Charitable Foundation, and the Patrons, Supporters and Friends of the Center for Curatorial Studies. Additional support for I’ve Got Something in My Eye provided by the Mondriaan Foundation, Amsterdam. Special thanks to the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation.
Opening Reception: Saturday, June 14, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College
Bard College, 33 Garden Road PO Box 5000 Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504-5000
Wednesday – Sunday, 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Free and open to the public.
Free transportation is available on a chartered bus that leaves from New York City for the opening reception. The bus returns to New York after the opening. For details and reservations, call 845.758.7598