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Thirteen Exhibitions Spotlight More Than 40 Contemporary Artists Capturing Diverse Ideas, Movements, and Media at Hessel Museum of Art This Spring


Culminating the Studies of CCS Bard’s Graduating Class and Pointing to Next Generation of Curatorial Thought, Thesis Projects Will be on Public View from April 3 to May 30, 2021

Culminating the Studies of CCS Bard’s Graduating Class and Pointing to Next Generation of Curatorial Thought, Thesis Projects Will be on Public View from April 3 to May 30, 2021

This spring, the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College (CCS Bard) presents thirteen exhibitions and projects featuring more than forty emerging and established contemporary artists and art movements organized by the graduating class of the master of arts curatorial studies program. On view at the Center for Curatorial Studies from April 3 through May 30, 2021, each project was developed over a period of study that was splintered by the events of the past year, and implicitly bear some trace of this moment. Comprising solo and group exhibitions, digital initiatives, and performance, the projects range in methods and subject matter, from mourning, environmental precarity, isolation, and decentralized learning, to accessibility and healing.

The thesis exhibition is a core component of CCS Bard’s graduate program, which grants each graduating student the opportunity to mine the Marieluise Hessel Collection of Contemporary Art, CCS Bard’s foundational collection of more than 3,000 objects; conduct original research into emerging artists’ practices, guided by research in CCS Bard’s extensive archives; and mount individual exhibitions and projects within the Hessel Museum of Art and CCS Bard Galleries. Past student-curated exhibitions have served as springboards for artists in the earliest stages of their careers and as the basis for ongoing curatorial investigations by CCS Bard graduates at other leading museums, galleries, and arts organizations around the world.

“The ingenuity and intellectual rigor that suffuses each of these projects is reflected in the range of issues, ideas and methodologies that each curator has explored,” said Lauren Cornell, Director of the Graduate Program and Chief Curator at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College. Added Tom Eccles, Executive Director of the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College and Founding Director of the Hessel Museum of Art, “Viewed together, the thesis exhibitions provide the public with a rich opportunity to explore the trends and new research being chartered by the next generation of leading voices in the field.”

Currently closed to the general public, the Hessel Museum will be re-opening with the thesis exhibitions on April 3, 2021, and will be available to visit Thursday through Sunday, 12pm – 5pm, by advance reservation only. For a full overview of our health and safety protocols, please click here; to reserve and confirm your timed tickets please click here. All other campus facilities are closed to the public, so please restrict your visit to CCS Bard.


Following is an overview of the 2021 Graduate Student Exhibitions and Projects, organized alphabetically by curator’s last name. Full curatorial statements are linked in the exhibition names below.

Tammie Rubin: Tell them I won’t be long

Curated by Krista Alba Investigating the subject of grief on both personal and collective levels, this solo exhibition brings together sculptural works by Tammie Rubin made over a decade ago with a newly commissioned installation.

While the Underground Flickers

Curated by Caitlin Chaisson

This group exhibition featuring moving image and sculpture by Bonnie Devine, Wally Dion, and Sandra Lahire addresses the social, environmental, and technopolitical consequences of radioactive uranium mining in North America.

Haze — Hong Kong’s Water Revolution in Contemporary Art and Culture

Curated by Yihsuan Chiu

Conceived as a single-issue online publication, Haze explores the representation of Hong Kong’s Water Revolution in art and culture over the past three years. With a focus on the methods and ethics of representation, the publication invites activists, artists, curators, and researchers to share their experiences as protesters and, through their creative practices, to expand the meanings of resistance.

Kate Millett: Terminal Piece

Curated by Jenni Crain

Restaging Kate Millett’s installation Terminal Piece for the first time since its initial exhibition at the Women’s Interart Center, New York, in 1972, this exhibition examines the importance of this work within her practice as both an artist and a writer, as it dramatizes Millett’s contestation of oppressive cultural structures that punish those who deviate from norms.


Curated by Paulina Ascencio Fuentes

Uxmal-on-Hudson follows the travels of a collection of Mayan sculptures and stelae from Mexico to the United States in the nineteenth century, focusing on the period that these objects spent on Cruger Island, adjacent to Bard College. The exhibition features newly commissioned work by artist Claudia Peña Salinas which renders visible what exists on the margins of the accounts of the explorers, the guardian-collector, and the ethnographic museum.


Curated by Natasha Matteson

Drawn from the Marieluise Hessel Collection, and accompanied by a pair of public programs, Criteria considers curatorial decision-making through the framework of algorithmic selection, artificial intelligence, and novel applications of emergent digital technologies in the museum sphere.

Castiel Vitorino Brasileiro: Eclipse

Curated by Bernardo Mosqueira

The first work by Brazilian artist Castiel Vitorino Brasileiro to be exhibited in the US, this newly commissioned immersive installation uses spiritually active materials—such as soil, salt, charcoal, cloth, stone, water, and light—to form a mandala whose shape references the spiral movement of time and the artist’s own original approach to matters of healing and decoloniality.

washed up

Curated by Christine Nyce

Artists Lauren Burrow, Allison Janae Hamilton, and Kate Newby each address environmental precarity by transforming accumulations of salvaged debris into site-specific sculptural works of art. This group exhibition reveals how these found-object sculptures visualize the larger flows of extraction, production, and pollution that otherwise go unnoticed.


Curated by Camila Palomino

In this immersive solo exhibition, artist Rose Salane presents intercepted materials scraped from the liquidation sale of the iconic and now defunct department store Century 21 to stage a meditation on how vision and memory are technologically mediated and registered.

Yacht Metaphor: The Collected Works of @CoryInTheAbyss

Curated by Georgie Payne

This browser-based exhibition explores the work of American artist, poet, and meme creator Jenson Leonard, showcasing a selection of internet memes created between 2015 and 2021 under the artist’s online alias @CoryInTheAbyss. Through a custom-made website, the exhibition invites viewers to engage with these memes both as a form of contemporary net art and as an alternative educational tool.

Cripping Curatorial Studies

Curated by Allie/A.L. Rickard

Engaging members of the community at CCS Bard in practicing accessibility in a way that supports justice, interdependence, liberation, and intimacy, Cripping Curatorial Studies (CCS) unfolds as ongoing interventions and interferences into the graduate program, the Hessel Museum of Art, and the culture and community of CCS Bard.

Classroom Arsenal

Curated by Candice Strongwater

Classroom Arsenal explores how the relationship between educational and technological structures in our own vexed moment emerged from the Cold War anxieties of the postwar period. Through historical archives, an immersive video installation by artist Shawn Maximo (b. 1975), and a series of photographs by Erich Hartmann (1922-1999), the exhibition aims to question what is at stake in our reliance on corporate enterprises that mediate learning and pedagogical efficacy.

of things not seen

Curated by Gee Wesley

Through a set of installations and workshops by artists Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, and Steffani Jemison, of things not seen explores the relationship between Blackness, bodily practice, and the limits of the archive. The project addresses the capacity for embodied knowledge—including movement, spoken language, and memory—to archive and restore otherwise absent accounts of Black life.


The student-curated exhibitions and projects at CCS Bard are part of the requirements for the master of arts degree, and are made possible with the 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 Lucky One Foundation; the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation; the Board of Governors of the Center for Curatorial Studies; the CCS Bard Arts Council; and by the Center’s Patrons, Supporters, and Friends. Additional Support was given to select exhibitions by the Open Society University Network (OSUN) and its Center for Human Rights and the Arts.