Civic Society and New Patronage
April 28, 2014, 11am–3pm
The Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College

Sven Augustijnen, Spectres, 2011, video still. © Sven Augustijnen. Courtesy: Jan Mot, Brussels.

This workshop introduces The Nouveaux Commanditaires Program and its commitment to commissioning artworks and artistic research that respond directly to issues of public interest and are sited and contextualized within the terms of civil society. Since the early 1990s, the Fondation de France’s “New Patrons” project has invited citizens to propose and develop works with artists and mediators that negotiate and address a range of local concerns. Building ties between artists, commissioners, and communities in diverse international settings, this workshop will introduce the role of “médiateur” within The Nouveaux Commanditaires context and consider its significance to the larger curatorial and commissioning field via specific projects and artistic practices.

Focused on the aesthetic and ethical terrain explored by three specific artistic practices, the morning session will include dialogs with artists Sven Augustijnen and Camille Henrot, while the afternoon discussion looks closer at the unique opportunities and challenges afforded by new models and approaches to patronage. Engaging a dialog with Nouveaux Commanditaires representatives Xavier Douroux, Thérèse Legierse, and Jérôme Poggi, afternoon session will address how art can negotiate the shifting terms of civil society via new models of commissioning. This workshop is open to CCS Bard faculty and students, as well as the larger Bard College community and public.

Workshop led by CCS Bard faculty member Fionn Meade. CCS Bard graduate student Jocelyn Edens and artist and community organizer Nancy Barton will participate as respondents in both the morning and afternoon sessions.

Camille Henrot, Grosse Fatigue, 2013, video still. Courtesy the artist and kamel mennour, Paris.

Sven Augustijnen’s recent films, photographs, installations and publications explore the permeability of history through the lens of Belgium’s colonial past, revealing and manipulating its underlying relevance to current political practices in Europe and beyond. Augustijnen has gained national and international recognition for his films describing the cultural specificity of familiar places, including the Royal Park or the Mont des Arts neighbourhood, both in Brussels, while establishing links between a city’s civic role as administrative capital of Europe and its colonial past. Recent solo exhibition include Wiels Brussels, De Appel Amsterdam, Kunsthalle Bern and Kunsthalle St. Gallen, amount other venues.

Camille Henrot combines anthropological research with systems of visual information and fragments culled from digital culture and a wide array of sources, proposing morphological links and ruptures across disparate systems of knowledge. Working in film, sculpture, and installation, Henrot’s ongoing projects include a NC commission in the remote Cantal mountain region of Southern France. Among her first American museum exhibitions, Camille Henrot: Restless Earth opens at the New Museum this May.

Nancy Barton is an artist, writer and educator with interests in collaborative and experimental art models, psychoanalytic theory, and opera. She is Director of Prattsville Arts Center & Residency in Prattsville, NY. Her work has been shown at many venues including MoMA, American Fine Arts, The Santa Monica Museum of Art, and Shoshana Wayne Gallery. She has chaired the department of Art at New York University, and the Photography Department at Otis College of Art.

Xavier Douroux is an art historian and Director of Le Consortium (Dijon, France) and Presses du Réel Publishing House, France. 

Tom Eccles is Executive Director of the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College. Since joining CCS Bard he has organized solo exhibitions with Rachel Harrison, Josiah McElheney, Martin Creed, and Liam Gillick, among others. He was previously Director of Public Art Fund in New York City (1996-2005).

Thérèse Legierse is Curator and Director of Nouveaux Commanditaires Program in Belgium.

Fionn Meade is a curator and writer based in New York. He is currently a faculty member at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, and in the MFA program for Visual Arts, Columbia University.

Jérôme Poggi is an engineer and economist. A graduate of the l’Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS, Paris), with a Masters in Art History from the University of Paris I – Panthéon Sorbonne, Poggi teaches at the Ecole Centrale Paris and for several Franco-American university programs. He is also Director of Galerie Jérôme Poggi (Paris) and has overseen (in collaboration with François Hers) a series of films about the most emblematic commissions of recent years by Nouveaux Commanditaires.

11:00am – Conversations with Camille Henrot and Sven Augustijnen
12:00pm – Respondents
12:30pm – Break
1:15pm – Presentation from The Nouveaux Commanditaires
2:30pm – Respondent

Copryright Fionn Meade unless otherwise stated