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Charlesworth Sarah_Bird Woman_R2018.5.jpg
NEUTRAL BACKGROUND
April 3 – April 18, 2021
→ CCS Bard Galleries
Curated by
  • Junni Chen
  • May Makki
  • Dominika Tylcz
Part of
Exhibition Category
Student Curated Projects, Hessel Collection Exhibitions

Due to current Bard College Covid-19 safety protocols, The Hessel Museum of Art and the CCS Bard galleries are currently open to a limited number of visitors by reservation, and to Bard College students, staff, and faculty without reservation. To read our Covid-19 Courtesy Code, please visit this page.

To reserve your free timed ticket, please visit this page.

In a painting or photograph, a frame or edge indicates where the work of art begins and ends. This apparent, physical border suggests that what lies within it requires critical interpretation because it is the product of an artist’s hand or eye. However, there are other unseen elements or technologies that shape how we navigate our everyday environment. Such elements, if they are even perceptible, are seen as neutral, objective, and scientific; yet, they are encoded with judgements by their makers. Devices like green screens or computer software are replete with human bias, particularly concerning race, gender, class, and ability. Although less perceptible than the edge of a painting, these elements frame our surroundings and warrant a close consideration of how they operate and what sort of assumptions they produce. In NEUTRAL BACKGROUND, artists manipulate and draw attention to tools of design, computer programming, and other technologies. The artworks in this exhibition prompt viewers to engage critically with forces that shape how we see the world but that oftentimes go unnoticed. By highlighting their mediating techniques, the works in this exhibition bring such forces into the foreground.