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The Office for Doubts & Desires

334 Broome St, New York

Organized by Linden Baierl, Adriana Blidaru, Staci Bu Shea, Tim Gentles, Jody Graf, Laura Herman, Patricia Hernandez, Dana Kopel, Bhavisha Panchia, Rachael Rakes, and Alexis Wilkinson.

The “curator in distress” is a common character in the contemporary art world, itself plagued by the perpetual exhaustion of new information and circumstance, often underwhelmed and overwhelmed in equal measure. Office for Doubts & Desires, organized by second-year  graduate students at CCS Bard, is a two-day event dealing with current anxieties around management and production, curatorial and otherwise. What were this year’s greatest perils and pitfalls, and what did we learn from them? What could, or should, we have done differently? Are we destined to remain cultural producers (curators, artists, critics, writers) in distress, or are there ways out of contemporary art’s anxiety loop?

Gradually progressing from a closed session into a public event, Office for Doubts & Desires will include artists, curators, and theorists tackling questions about cultural anxieties and the economy of the new. On Friday, December 18, the Office begins with a workshop to examine the theoretical and practical inter-workings of access, organizational practices, and the management of critical uncertainties. Together with Stephanie Wakefield (Woodbine) and Carolyn Lazard (We Are Canaries), the group will develop resources and strategies for building awareness of and responses to the fear or joy of missing out, paying special attention to organizational practices, presence, lifestyle, and the material underpinnings of space and access.

Following the workshop, the group will relocate to view the exhibition “The Home Show,” curated by Asad Raza in his apartment as it serves as a case-study addressing issues discussed in the workshop. Prompted by the annual tradition of looking back at the highlights of the passing year, Saturday, December 19th sees the Office transform into a public showcase of the art world’s anxieties, triumphs, and failures in 2015. Compiling responses to a questionnaire from artists, writers, curators, and other art world figures, this intentionally overwhelming best-of list attempts to self-reflexively examine dynamics of attention, pace, newness, and presence upon which curating, criticism, and other endeavors that—intentionally or not— take part in taste-making are predicated.

Press release