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The GreenroomReconsidering the Documentary and Contemporary Art #1

Foreword (p. 7-8)

“The Greenroom: Reconsidering the Documentary and Contemporary Art” is a long-term research project on “the documentary.” The project aims at situating these contemporary documentary practices within current cultural production and at exploring their role within mainstream media and activism. It also aims at investigating the heritage of documentary practices in contemporary art, in relation to the history of film, documentary photography, and television as well as to video art.
“The Greenroom” is a collaboration between Maria Lind, the director of the graduate program, Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College (CCS Bard) and the artist, writer, and theoretician Hito Steyerl. A reference group, consisting of the artists Petra Bauer, Matthew Buckingham, Carles Guerra, Walid Raad, and Hito Steyerl has contributed to the research project in various ways. The research project will run for approximately three years, having started in March 2008. Its first public event, the exhibition “The Greenroom: Reconsidering the Documentary and Contemporary Art (Part I),” will take place 27 September 2008–1 February 2009 at the Hessel Museum, at CCS Bard.
In many ways, “The Greenroom: Reconsidering the Documentary and Contemporary Art” is a “greenroom for documentary practices,” not unlike a greenroom at a television station, where staff and guests meet before and after filming and engage in discussions which often differ from those in the limelight. Thereby the “just before” and the “right after,” moments of less scripted performances and unexpected encounters, are taken seriously. “The Greenroom: Reconsidering the Documentary and Contemporary Art (Part II)” is scheduled for Fall 2010.
The Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College is a unique exhibition, education, and research center dedicated to the study of art and curatorial practices from the 1960s to the present day. With the arrival of Maria Lind as our director of the graduate program in 2008, we have increasingly sought out new ways to integrate the activities of a public institution in ways that provide new teaching, research, and public programming opportunities. “The Greenroom: Reconsidering the Documentary and Contemporary Art,” is the most ambitious of many recent initiatives at the center, one that we hope provides an experimental model for future programs.

Tom Eccles
Executive Director, CCS Bard

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