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359_02 Object ExpectationsFeature.jpg
Managing Object Expectations
April 13 – May 25, 2014
→ CCS Bard Galleries, Hessel Museum of Art
Curated by
  • Sabrina Blaichman
Part of
Exhibition Category
Thesis Exhibitions

Artists: Nairy Baghramian, Zilla Leutenegger, Seth Price, Michael St. John, Chris Thorson, and Rosemarie Trockel

Managing Object Expectations proposes an intersection of artistic craft and the influence of everyday objects. The artists represented have chosen to create everyday objects rather than nominate them from non-artistic fields of production. By employing strategies of re-contextualization or unexpected uses of form and material, the works open spaces for new thought processes and realities.

The exhibition was inspired by the postwar reproduction of Marcel Duchamp’s readymades. In the 1960s a complete set of Duchamp’s readymades from the early twentieth century were reproduced under the management of the Italian gallerist, Arturo Schwartz and the direction of the artist himself. These facsimile reproductions were made by skilled craftsmen and subsequently masqueraded as industrial mass-produced objects in the exhibition and display of Duchamp’s work.

While dominant histories of art have overlooked the handmade reiteration of the readymades, Managing Object Expectations explores the dichotomy between the artistic and productive labor they reveal within the context of more recent art practices. Works that engage questions of artistic labor, mass production and stereotypes of the hand crafted have been selected to mediate a re-reading of the readymade – in an attempt to recover the obscured relevance of both manual and conceptual skill in the history, reception and future of these objects.