June 6, 2016 - Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College - Invisible Adversaries : Marieluise Hessel Collection / Tony Oursler: The Imponderable Archive
June 6, 2016

Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College

Left: Patty Chang, Untitled (Eels), 2001. Marieluise Hessel Collection, Hessel Museum of Art, Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. Courtesy the artist. Right: Poster advertising stage magician Fulton Oursler, c. 1920. Image courtesy of Tony Oursler’s personal archive.

Invisible Adversaries : Marieluise Hessel Collection
June 25–September 18, 2016

Tony Oursler
The Imponderable Archive
June 25–October 30, 2016

Opening: June 25, 1–4pm

Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College
33 Garden Road
Annandale-on-Hudson, New York 12504-5000
United States

T +1 845 758 7598


The Hessel Museum of Art marks its tenth anniversary with a major exhibition of works from the Marieluise Hessel Collection curated by Lauren Cornell and Tom Eccles entitled Invisible Adversaries. The exhibition is inspired by the eponymous 1976 feature film by the radical Austrian artist VALIE EXPORT, and is built around its themes. The film presents a woman’s struggle to retain her sense of self against hostile alien forces that appear increasingly ubiquitous, colonizing the minds of all those around her. Additionally, there will be a talk with VALIE EXPORT, and others, at 3pm on June 25 during the opening reception.

The works in the exhibition range from the mid-1970s to the present day, including many recent acquisitions and major installations such as A Minute Ago by Rachel Rose, and Odradek Wall by Liam Gillick. The exhibition also provides the East Coast premiere of Factory in the Sun (2015) by Hito Steyerl, her work for the 2015 Venice Biennale. Often juxtaposing works from diverse artists and periods and persistently focusing on the social content of imagery, Invisible Adversaries aims to reintroduce the striking contentiousness of the Hessel Collection. Artists in the exhibition include Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Chantal Akerman, Kai Althoff, Janine Antoni, Ida Applebroog, Phyllida Barlow, Lynda Benglis, Barbara Bloom, Paul Chan, Patty Chang, Anne Collier, Rineke Dijkstra, Trisha Donnelly, VALIE EXPORT, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Isa Genzken, Liam Gillick, K8 Hardy, Rachel Harrison, Mona Hatoum, Roni Horn, Emily Jacir, Annette Kelm, Leigh Ledare, Nikki S. Lee, Sarah Lucas, Tala Madani, Christian Marclay, Helen Marten, Ulrike Müller, Bruce Nauman, Tony Oursler, Philippe Parreno, William Pope.L, Seth Price, Magali Reus, Rachel Rose, Thomas Ruff, Ilene Segalove, Cindy Sherman, Stephen Shore, Diane Simpson, Lorna Simpson, Jo Spence, Hito Steyerl, Tunga, Gillian Wearing, Martha Wilson, and Krzysztof Wodiczko. Invisible Adversaries also features works on loan by Emily Jacir and Trevor Paglen; a major installation by Carrie Mae Weems; and a specially commissioned painting by Cheyney Thompson (in collaboration with Amy Sillman).

The 1976 feature film Invisible Adversaries (1:52 hours) by Valie Export will be screened daily at two hour intervals beginning at 11:30am.

In the CCS Bard Galleries, is Tony Oursler: The Imponderable Archive. Imponderable is an extensive research project, exhibition, film, and publication that investigates the personal collection of American artist Tony Oursler, a remarkable trove of more than 2,500 photographs, documents, publications, and unique objects, tracking a social, spiritual, and intellectual history dating back to the early eighteenth century. The actual objects within the archive will be shown for the first time in this comprehensive exhibition, extending the previous iterations of Imponderable commissioned by the LUMA Foundation in Arles and Zurich, where the 4D film and publication were originally presented in 2015. Concurrent with the presentation at CCS Bard, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York will exhibit a full-scale theater screening of Oursler’s Imponderable film (June 18, 2016–January 2, 2017).

The project’s title, Imponderable, suggests the idea of something that cannot be determined with accuracy. Eighteenth-century scientists used the word to describe magnetism, electricity, and other unquantifiable energies, many of which are represented in Oursler’s archive. The "imponderable" also suggests an area of open speculation populated by numerous conflicting belief systems. Additionally, Oursler is interested in how even the most incredible ideas can be presented in such a way that they convince the audience of their veracity.

Originally commissioned by the LUMA Foundation for LUMA Arles in France, this project investigates new possibilities for archives and artistic production, which is one of its primary concerns. Imponderable translates the original archival materials into the form of a film, an installation, and a publication, providing new insight into both the material gathered by the artist over many years, and the trajectory of his own work.

The 4D film-based experience to be shown at MoMA explores the conflicting and overlapping belief systems implicit within his grandfather’s engagement with the debunking of paranormal activity. In addition to the exhibition of more than 2,000 objects at CCS Bard, the broader reach of the archival material is presented in a 600 page, fully illustrated publication that makes the archive available to the public for the first time. 

Imponderable: The Archives of Tony Oursler was commissioned and produced by the LUMA Foundation for the Parc des Ateliers in Arles, France. Curated by Tom Eccles and Beatrix Ruf.

Tony Oursler: Imponderable, curated by Stuart Comer and Erica Papernik-Shimizu, is on view at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, from June 18, 2016 to January 2, 2017

Also on view: Structured Expansion, 2015, by Liam Gillick, and Reading Context, curated by Ann Butler,  both in the newly expanded and renovated CCS Bard Archive, Special Collections, and Collection Teaching Gallery, designed by New York-based architects HWKN (Hollwich Kushner).

The CCS Bard Galleries and Hessel Museum of Art at Bard College summer hours are Thursday through Monday from 11am to 6pm. All CCS Bard exhibitions and programs are free and open to the public.  
Free chartered bus available from New York City for the openings on June 25. For reservations call
T 845 758 7598, or write ccs [​at​] bard.edu.

For more information on getting to Bard College, hotel recommendations,  transportation, or further information please call CCS Bard at T 845 758 7598, write ccs [​at​] bard.edu, or visit www.bard.edu/ccs.

Media contact:
Andy Cushman, Blue Medium, Inc
T +1 212 675 1800 / acushman [​at​] bluemedium.com

Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College
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Tony Oursler
The Imponderable Archive
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