Talks by Judith Tannenbaum and Dieter Roelstraete (PRAXES)
Bergen Assmebly & Plattform

Lynda Benglis, Adhesive Products, 1971 In production, Walker Art Center, Minnesota, USA Courtesy Cheim & Read, New York © Lynda Benglis / BONO 2016

Please join us for lectures by Judith Tannenbaum and Dieter Roelstraete. Jointly presented by Bergen Assembly 2016 and Plattform, Bergen Kunsthall’s lecture series.

Tracing ideas of suspended fluidity and mushrooming masses sliding off the walls and spilling over the floors, PRAXES and Bergen Kunsthall present the group exhibition Adhesive Products with works by Olga Balema, Nairy Baghramian, Lynda Benglis, Daiga Grantina, Sterling Ruby, and Kaari Upson. This exhibition is part of PRAXES’s year-long unspooling of Lynda Benglis’s material inquiries and takes as its starting point “the frozen gesture”, a term coined by art critic Robert Pincus-Witten to describe the fluid materiality, but also gestural action unafraid of the theatrical, the decorative, the vulgar, as seen in the early works by Benglis. The two lectures by Tannenbaum and Roelstraete will further delve into the slippery terrain of material performativity and oozing thingness.

This talk focuses on 1971, the year in which Lynda Benglis produced six astonishing polyurethane foam installations at museums and galleries around the US. Particular attention is given to the story of Phantom, the first of these remarkable multipart works that cross over from painting into sculpture, and the only one of these projects to have survived intact. Benglis’s poured foam pieces connect to the way in which the artist insinuated herself as a performer, as she manipulated and experimented with new materials to create dramatic, highly original forms.

From 1986 to 2000, Tannenbaum served variously as curator, associate director, and interim director at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) in Philadelphia. From 2000 to 2013, Tannenbaum served as the first Richard Brown Baker Curator of Contemporary Art at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Exhibitions for RISD include What Nerve! Alternative Figures in American Art, 1960 to the Present (2014); *Lynda Benglis (2010); and Betty Woodman: Il Giardino dipinto (2005). In 2014-15, she curated the exhibition Framing Fraktur at the Free Library of Philadelphia. Currently she teaches at Moore College of Art & Design and Rutgers University and makes ceramics on the side.

*Organized by the Irish Museum of Modern Art, in conjunction with Van Abbemuseum, Le Consortium, RISD Museum, and New Museum.

Seven years after first talking things at the Bergen Kunsthall (see link below), Dieter Roelstraete returns to the scene of the rhyme to reconsider thingness within the context of the work of Lynda Benglis. It’s been a long, seven-year itch.

From 2004 until 2011, Dieter Roelstraete worked as a curator at the Antwerp museum of contemporary art M HKA, followed by him taking up the Manilow Senior Curator position at the MCA Chicago from 2012 until 2015. Roelstraete is currently a member of the curatorial team convened by artistic director Adam Szymczyk to organise documenta 14 in Athens and Kassel in 2017. He now lives in Kassel, Germany.