March 23 – April 8, 2017

Anna Bella Geiger: Here is the Center

Curated by Olivia Casa

Comprising a selection of videos, performance documentation, prints, and photographs from the 1970s, this small survey will present the early work of the Brazilian conceptual artist and video art pioneer Anna Bella Geiger. Taking its title from Geiger’s 1973 photoengraving Aqui é o centro n.1, the exhibition will highlight the role of the recurring motif of the center, which is repeatedly questioned, retooled, and inverted, throughout the artist’s work.

Born in Rio de Janeiro in 1933, Geiger has, over six decades, produced a complex and multifaceted body of work that fluidly traverses multiple genres, styles, and mediums, from encaustic and assemblage to video and installation. In the 1970s, she was at the center of video art activity in Rio de Janeiro, alongside contemporaries Letícia Parente and Sonia Andrade, who deployed the medium to wager implicit critiques of power structures at the height of Brazil’s oppressive military dictatorship.

In the works featured in this exhibition, the center is considered in geopolitical and national terms, as a signifier of the “peripheral” location of Latin America and of the consolidated power of the Brazilian state. However, contrary to the seemingly impenetrable status of the centralized government, Geiger conceives of the center as fluid and inconstant, characterized by, as the artist remarked in an essay for her 1972 exhibition Circumambulatio, its ability to shift “from the inside to the outside.” As such, the use of the deictic word “here”—which changes meaning depending on its context—in the exhibition title Here is the Center reiterates this notion of the unstable, and unfixed, central position.

Anna Bella Geiger: Here is the Center is curated by Olivia Casa, MA candidate in the Modern and Contemporary Art: Critical and Curatorial Studies (MODA) program.

New Talent

Curated by Madeline Weisburg

“New Talent” presents works that explore the nexus between art, technology and poetry. Taking its name from the article, “New Talent—The Computer,” written by the artist and filmmaker Stan VanDerBeek for Art in America in 1970, which reflects upon 1960s computer technology as a field of poetic experimentation, reconfiguration, process, and miscalculation, this show will examine historical experiments in confrontation with contemporary artists’ interventions, presenting works and special projects that self-consciously investigate the laws of technology and poetry while simultaneously finding means in which to creatively disobey them. Featuring a program of computer-generated films from the 1960s and early ‘70s, a performance/workshop series by contemporary artists and technologists, and a newly commissioned artists’ book, the exhibition will look at historical material in translation with contemporary concerns, pressing on the connections between “indigenous computer aesthetics” and modes in which to carve out spaces for experimentation, intervention, and humor within our current cultural landscape.

New Talent is curated by Madeline Weisburg, MA candidate in the Modern and Contemporary Art: Critical and Curatorial Studies (MODA) program.


Together Anna Bella Geiger and New Talent comprise the sixth presentation of MODA Curates, an annual opportunity offered by the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery and the MODA program for curatorial proposals related to students' theses.