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Persons in the Presence of a Metamorphosis
December 5 – December 15, 2019
→ CCS Bard Galleries
Curated by
  • Krista Alba
  • Caitlin Chaisson
  • Jenni Crain
  • Liv Cuniberti
Part of
Exhibition Category
Student Curated Projects

Persons in the Presence of a Metamorphosis is an exhibition of sculpture, textile, and video-based works that engage with processes of transformation in form, nature, or appearance. Bringing together ten artists in the Marieluise Hessel Collection, the exhibition encompasses a diverse range of artistic approaches that use formal and conceptual incongruities to unsettle expectations. Eliciting both the satisfactions and discomforts that arise from change, the exhibition addresses the transformative possibilities of personal regeneration, the animism of materials, and disruption of cyclical time.

The exhibition takes its title from a poem by poet and critic John Yau. Yau weaves fragments of text and the repetition of words into stanzas, disorienting the reader’s relationship to meaning while also offering a freedom of interpretation through non-linear composition. The artists in this exhibition experiment with similar strategies of destabilization, including the unusual use of familiar materials, or creating subtle slippages in space and time. Through doubling, pairing, or by joining disparate elements in unexpected combinations, the artworks support multiple associations.

Persons in the Presence of a Metamorphosis positions transformation as a generative force that perpetually broadens the scope of experience. Collectively, the artworks on view provide opportunities to contemplate the fluidity of forms, and the boundaries that purport to contain them. The exhibition embraces dynamic perspectives that are receptive to change, difference, and possibility.