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June 2, 2017
CCS Bard Presents Picture Industry, Curated by Walead Beshty
Press Contact:
Mark Primoff
CCS Bard Contact:
Ramona Rosenberg

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, NY May, 2017 - The Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College (CCS Bard) is pleased to present the exhibition Picture Industry this June in the Hessel Museum of Art. Curated by artist Walead Beshty, with works by over 80 artists (ranging from historical documents to major installations), Picture Industry reflects upon transformations in the production and distribution of photographic images as realized through its varied constructions of the corporeal, from its origin as scientific tool and a means of cultural investigation to its phenomenological effects on a viewer. Methodologically, the exhibition complicates traditional accounts of the medium, drawing from photography’s role within science and the humanities to contemporary art. The exhibition encompasses a broad range of photographic practices from the late 19th century to the present.

The wide variety of materials that constitute the exhibition (including collections of photographs, slide projections, periodicals, recent film and video installations, sculptures, and printed works on paper) create numerous situations within which to consider not only the materiality of images and the technologies that form their reception, but also the conflicted social history that lies under their surfaces and is inextricable from their origins.

To this end, Picture Industry includes images and objects from a number of historical moments and social arenas arranged into a cohesive but varied array of historical positions, which prefigure our complex contemporary image world.

This exhibition expands upon the original installation in summer 2016, which was part of Systematically Open? New Forms for Contemporary Image Production, the inaugural series of exhibitions at the LUMA Foundation’s Parc des Ateliers, Arles, France.

Picture Industry features the work of: Thom Andersen, David Askevold, Lewis Baltz, Georges Bataille, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Ericka Beckman, Gretchen Bender, Lynda Benglis, Alphonse Bertillon, Black Audio Film Collective, Black Star Productions (Stewart Bird, Peter Gessner, René Lichtman and John Louis, Jr. in association with the League of Revolutionary Black Workers), Barbara Bloom, Mel Bochner, Duchenne de Boulogne, Sarah Charlesworth, Charles Darwin, Ariel Dorfman and Armand Mattelart, Stan Douglas, William Emory, Walker Evans, Harun Farocki, Morgan Fisher, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Lee Friedlander and Stuart Klipper, Ernst Friedrich, Francis Galton, Isa Genzken, Octavio Getino and Fernando Solanas, Frank Gilbreth, Liz Glynn, Jack Goldstein, Dan Graham, Johan Grimonprez, James Hague et al., Lyle Ashton Harris, John Heartfield, Lewis Hine, Thomas Hirschhorn, Yngve Holen, Jenny Holzer, William Henry Jackson, Arthur Jafa, Fritz Kahn, Stephen Kaltenbach, Louise Lawler, Sherrie Levine, Glenn Ligon, Sharon Lockhart, Louis Lumière, Robert Mapplethorpe, Étienne-Jules Marey, Kerry James Marshall, Renzo Martens, Allan McCollum, Boris Mikhailov, Mitchell & Kenyon, Charles Moore, Jean-Luc Moulène, Eadweard Muybridge, Timothy O'Sullivan, Paul Pfeiffer, Jack Pierson, Seth Price, Jacob Riis, Jeroen de Rijke and Willem de Rooij, Martha Rosler, Cameron Rowland, August Sander, Allan Sekula, Stephen Shore, Hito Steyerl, William Henry Fox Talbot, Georges Gilles de la Tourette, Wolfgang Tillmans, Sojourner Truth, Cosey Fanni Tutti, Kelley Walker, Jeff Wall, Lawrence Weiner, and Christopher Williams.

Picture Industry was commissioned and produced by the LUMA Foundation for the Parc des Ateliers in Arles, France.

Publication Edited and designed by Walead Beshty, the accompanying publication serves as an extensive anthology of important historical and theoretical texts, including reproductions of key art works and spreads from historically significant publications. The resulting volume (to be released in fall 2017) offers a resource for students, scholars, or any engaged reader, to consider dominant threads in aesthetic theory along side related works of art, including selections from structuralist and post-structuralist explorations of representation, to German media theory, the study of cultural techniques, and the still-burgeoning realm of new media theory, together offering a wide array of theoretical and methodological approaches to the world of images, and a sense of how those approaches have evolved over time. Rather than attempting a definitive history, the publication posits an alternative approach to the myriad questions and debates associated with representation, presenting its technological history as inextricable from the social history of media, and staging this through the complex and multivalent relationship between the photographic image and the body, whether it be the body of the viewer, or that of the depicted.

Featuring an introduction by Walead Beshty and texts by Giorgio Agamben, Elizabeth Alexander, Cory Arcangel, Carol Armstrong, Ariella Azoulay, Roland Barthes, Georges Bataille, Jean Baudrillard, Jean-Louis Baudry, Ericka Beckman, Walter Benjamin, Marta Braun, George Herbert Brown, William Richey McMurray, and Michael Corbert Andrews, Lisa Cartwright and Brian Goldfarb, Stanley Cavell, Sarah Charlesworth, Critical Art Ensemble, Régis Debray, Georges Didi-Huberman, Stan Douglas, Thomas A. Edison, Noam M. Elcott, Harun Farocki, Morgan Fisher, Vilém Flusser, Coco Fusco and Black Audio Film Collective (John Akomfrah, Reece Auguiste, Lina Gopaul, and Avril Johnson), Alexander R. Galloway, Francis Galton, Tristan Garcia, Octavio Getino and Fernando Solanas, Sigfried Giedion, Mark Godfrey and Christopher Williams, Dan Graham, Johan Grimonprez, Thomas Hirschhorn, Oliver Wendell Holmes, bell hooks, Joachim Jäger, Zuhair al Jezairi, Friedrich A. Kittler, Clarence King, Siegfried Kracauer, Rosalind Krauss, Bruno Latour, Lev Manovich, Étienne-Jules Marey, Daniel McClean, Marshall McLuhan, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Boris Mikhailov, Fred Moten, Peter Osborne, Craig Owens, Erwin Panofsky, John Durham Peters, Seth Price, Jacob Riis, Wilhelm Konrad Röntgen, Martha Rosler, C. E. Shannon, Bernhard Siegert, James A. Snead, Hito Steyerl, William Henry Fox Talbot, Krista Thompson, Wolfgang Tillmans, Georges Gilles de la Tourette, Alan Trachtenberg, Sergei Tret’iakov, Alan M. Turing, and others.

The publication is produced by the LUMA Foundation in collaboration with the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, and published by JRP.

Walead Beshty (b. 1976, London, UK) is an artist and writer working in Los Angeles. He has had solo exhibitions at such institutions as the Barbican Centre, London; Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing; Malmö Konsthall, Sweden / Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, Madrid; The Hirshhorn Museum, Washington D.C.; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; and P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City. His work was included in the 2015 Venice Biennale, 2012 Shanghai Biennial, 2009 Tate Triennial, and 2008 Whitney Biennial. Beshty’s work is held in permanent museum collections worldwide, including the Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, among others. Monographs on his work include, Walead Beshty: Selected Correspondences 2001–2010 (Damiani Editore, 2010), Walead Beshty: Natural Histories (JRP|Ringier, 2011/2014), and Walead Beshty: Industrial Portraits, Volume One (JRP|Ringier, 2017). Beshty’s writing has appeared in Texte zur Kunst, Afterall Journal, Artforum, Aperture, Art Review, Parkett, Dot Dot Dot, and The Exhibitionist, in addition to numerous catalogs and anthologies. Beshty edited the anthology Ethics, in Whitechapel’s Documents of Contemporary Art series (MIT Press, 2015). His collected writings 33 Texts: 93,614 Words: 581,035 Characters: Selected Writings (2003–2015) was published by JRP|Ringier, 2016. His work is represented by Regen Projects, Los Angeles; Petzel, New York; Thomas Dane Gallery, London; Galerie Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels; Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich; and Capitain Petzel, Berlin.

About LUMA Foundation and LUMA Arles The LUMA Foundation was established by Maja Hoffmann in 2004 to support the activities of independent artists and pioneers, as well as institutions working in the visual arts, photography, publishing, documentary filmmaking, and multimedia. The foundation produces, supports, and enables challenging art projects committed to an expansive understanding of environmental issues, human rights, education, and culture. In 2013, Hoffmann launched LUMA Arles to plan, develop, and manage the Parc des Ateliers, an expansive former industrial site located in Arles, France. Situated adjacent to the city’s UNESCO World Heritage sites, the Parc des Ateliers serves as the major programmatic and cultural center for LUMA Foundation’s diverse activities.

LUMA Arles is an experimental cultural center where artists, researchers, and creators from diverse fields collaborate on multidisciplinary exhibitions and projects. Based in the Parc des Ateliers—a sixteen-acre site formerly occupied by railroad workshops built in the mid-nineteenth century—LUMA Arles includes a resource center designed by architect Frank Gehry; various industrial buildings undergoing rehabilitation by Selldorf Architects; and a public park designed by landscape architect Bas Smets.