Art/Aesthetics · Performativity · Sculpt/Install · Shows

The Research and Destroy Department of Black Mountain College


For a brief moment the revolutionary ideas on art and living of Black Mountain College resonate in the spaces of W139. The work of more than 30 young conceptual artists meets in an experimental Wunderkammer and engages in a tactile dialogue creating a performative space.

THE RESEARCH AND DESTROY DEPARTMENT OF BLACK MOUNTAIN COLLEGE brings together a group of bricoleurs, conceptual artists whose work share the idea of collecting. The physical shape of the work is determined by the content of their own research. The gathering, or ensemble of different ideas in literary images tells a story, and stands close to the notion of anachronism. In the exhibition mostly three-dimensional works will be presented, forming a dynamic parcours, as a forest of metonymic sculptures and images. The displaying of this anti-digital show will create new conceptual reflections between the different works. With 30+ artists the exhibition spaces of W139 will take on the temporal form of a giant cabin of curiosities, a physical embodiment of knowledge. The unforeseen encounters will be spurring new insights and fuel an active dialogue on exchange, collaboration and collection. Together, the large group of artists will have to overcome the inhuman proportions of the W139 exhibition space and engage in a spatial relationship with each other’s work, In the rear space Thomas Raat will transform the pattern of the mosaic floor of the Radio Kootwijk building into an enormous mural, making the large back wall an impressive rhythmic backdrop of repetitive ornaments.

Texts by Anne van Oppen and Jean Bernard Koeman

Curated by Jean Bernard Koeman

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Art/Aesthetics · Human-ities · Performativity · Social/Politics · Theory

The Last Art College: Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, 1968-1978

How did a small art college in Nova Scotia become the epicenter of art education–and to a large extent of the postmimimalist and conceptual art world itself–in the 1960s and 1970s? Like the unorthodox experiments and rich human resources that made Black Mountain College an improbable center of art a generation earlier, the activities and artists at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (aka NSCAD) in the 1970s redefined the means and methods of art education and the shape of art far beyond Halifax.

A partial list of visiting artists and faculty members at NSCAD would include Joseph Beuys, Sol LeWitt, Gerhard Richter, Dan Graham, Mel Bochner, Lucy Lippard, John Baldessari, Hans Haacke, Yvonne Rainer, Robert Frank, Jenny Holzer, Robert Morris, Eric Fischl, and Dara Birnbaum. Kasper Koenig and Benjamin Buchloh ran the NSCAD Press, publishing books by Hollis Frampton, Lawrence Weiner, Donald Judd, Daniel Buren, Michael Asher, Martha Rosler, and Michael Snow, among others. The Lithography Workshop produced early works by many of today’s masters, including John Baldessari, Vito Acconci, and Claes Oldenburg. With The Last Art College, Garry Kennedy, the college’s visionary president at the time, gives us the long-awaited documentary history of NSCAD during a formative era.

From gallery openings to dance performances to visiting lectures to exhibitions to classroom projects, the book gives a rich historical and visual account of the school’s activities, supplemented by details of specific events, reminiscences by faculty and students, accounts of artists’ talks, and notes on memorable controversies.

About the Author

Garry Neill Kennedy is a Canadian conceptual artist who was awarded the Portia White Prize by the Arts Council of Nova Scotia in 2000 and a Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts in 2004. From 1967 to 1990 he was President of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.

All text and image via MIT Press