- Benjamin Austin
Artists: Benjamin Austin, Andy Warhol, and selected artists from the Marieluise Hessel Collection
A Group of Fish and Other Schools produces a curatorial trajectory in three movements.
The first is a little-known treatise on curating by Andy Warhol, via his 99-minute screen test Henry Geldzahler (1964). Throughout the film, the eponymous curator becomes increasingly agitated and uncomfortable as he fidgets and squirms, generating an atmosphere of unease around the figure of the curator and his appearance in an artwork.
The second element of the program is a work of art by the show’s organizer, Benjamin Austin, in which a Paul O’Neill baseball card has been autographed by the Director of the Graduate Program at CCS Bard who shares the same name as the Yankee outfielder. The faux pas of curating oneself into one’s own show is staged alongside the representation of another curator – Geldzahler – and like Warhol’s film, is titled after its subject.
The third movement consists of an exhibition within an exhibition curated by Evelyn Donnelly and Dana Gentile, two members of the team of art handlers currently working at the Marieluise Hessel Museum of Art and CCS Bard. The goal of the project is to provide the curators with as much autonomy as possible within the institutional parameters of the thesis show. By dispersing and recalibrating curatorial authorship, the gesture of insourcing a collection show mobilizes museum staff members as a mode of curatorial research into the collection. The curatorial modality of commissioning an exhibition is offered as a counterpoint to the two other works of art included by once again reconfiguring the visibility of the curator and the curatorial.