Bard Graduate Center Presents New Works from Artists-in-Residence in Spring 2019
The Multi-Media Artists–Native Art Department International–Respond to Exhibition on Anthropologist Franz Boas and his Indigenous Co-author George Hunt. Brooklyn-Based Artists JoAnne McFarland and Rachel Selekman to Create New Work Drawing Inspiration from Bard Graduate Center’s Extensive Library Collection.
This spring Bard Graduate Center (BGC) will present new work by artists participating in its Exhibition Artist in Residency and its Library Artist in Residency programs. The programs are designed to bring artists into conversation with BGC’s exhibitions and to invite visual or performance artists whose work is grounded in research to use the BGC Library Collection as an incubator for new work.
Native Art Department International–the Brooklyn-based multimedia artist team of Maria Hupfield and Jason Lujan–has been selected as Bard Graduate Center’s Exhibition Artist in Residence. Their work will be in dialogue with the exhibition The Story Box: Franz Boas, George Hunt and the Making of Anthropology, which highlights the role of George Hunt—the Indigenous co-author of anthropologist Franz Boas’ seminal text The Social Organization and the Secret Societies of the Kwakiutl Indians (1897)—as well as the ongoing cultural traditions of the Kwakwaka’wakw people of Alert Bay, British Columbia, Canada. The public can see Native Art Department International’s work in-progress beginning on May 1. Their work and the exhibition, curated by Bard Graduate Center associate professor Aaron Glass, will be on view through July 7, 2019.
During their residency, Hupfield and Lujan will turn their studio space at BGC into a television studio where they will shoot a program dramatizing sequences from the life of Boas. The aesthetic of their project is loosely based on Potato Wolf TV, a series of fictional news segments and satirical takes on mainstream media developed by Lower East Side activist-artist collective Collaborative Projects (Colab) in the early 1970s.
“In selecting Native Art Department International for this residency, I wanted to invite more contemporary Indigenous voices into the exhibition to destabilize the notion that Native American cultures are static and to provide space for playful critical commentary,” said Emily Reilly, Director of Public Engagement for Bard Graduate Center and Associate Director of the Bard Graduate Center Gallery. “The work of these artists—and all our Exhibition Artists in Residence—animate the BGC Gallery as a living space and draw connections between the exhibitions and contemporary art making.”
BGC’s Library Artists in Residence will be poet, painter, and curator JoAnne McFarland, and visual artist Rachel Selekman—both of whom are based in Brooklyn. The Library’s reference staff is on hand to support their research. McFarland and Selekman’s works are in development and in late spring they will make public presentations on their research and discuss their projects.
“Artists are avid researchers, just as scholars are,” said Emily Reilly, Director of Public Engagement for Bard Graduate Center and Associate Director of the Bard Graduate Center Gallery. “The Library Artist in Residence program is designed to place creative research on the same plane with scholarly research—to broaden the types of inquiry and inspiration happening in our library.”
Bard Graduate Center launched its Artist in Residency Programs in January 2017 with Mark Dion serving as BGC’s first Artist in Residence. For his residency, which was closely tied to BGC’s Cultures of Conservation program, Dion created “The Conservator’s Cupboard”, a work that explores the mental and material landscape of the conservator. Referencing the traditions of the artist’s studio and the alchemist’s workshop, Dion constructed a sculptural installation in the form of a working cupboard filled with raw materials, apparatuses, and books, located in Bard Graduate Center’s lobby in 38 West 86th Street. Dion also participated in and co-organized public programs around the central themes of his work. In February 2018, BGC partnered with Textile Arts Center to turn a space in the Gallery into a MakerSpace, which hosted workshops and a rotating artist residency. The 2018 artists in residence were fiber artists Chi Nguyen, Neil Goss, and Natalie Stopka. Also in 2018, BGC launched its Library Artist in Residence program with two artists, Karen Mainenti and Spencer Merolla.