Bernadette Corporation: 2000 Wasted Years
Lower & Upper Galleries
2000 Wasted Years is the first UK retrospective by the New York based Bernadette Corporation. The exhibition recasts the works authored by the group since their inception in the early '90s.
The origins of Bernadette Corporation lie in the organisation of parties in downtown New York, their mock incorporation and ambiguous branding strategies developing in the mid '90s into a women’s fashion line. Their engagement in quotation, concepts, fictions, appropriation, provocation, hoaxes, and anti-artistic postures of crass commercialism have subsequently seen them move within the fields of magazine publishing, film production, political activism, literature and the market-driven art world.
Across Bernadette Corporation’s twenty-year history and mutable membership there runs a thread of anonymity and opacity, the rejection of normative social forms and appellations such as being an artist, or a political activist. This 'whatever' subjectivity is as evident in the twenty-something museum guard turned model/muse anti-heroine of their 2004 novel Reena Spaulings, as it is in the radicality of Black Bloc anarchists at the heart of the 2003 film Get Rid of Yourself.
2000 Wasted Years uses 'retrospection' as another turn in the corporate subjectivity of Bernadette Corporation. A lyrically and conceptually complex relay of the quotidian continues to engage the collective today, all the while underscored by the 'reality' of Bernadette Corporation both as a group of relationships, and as brand.
Exhibition design by Gideon Ponte/Magnet
Graphic design by Bill Hayden
An Artists Space, New York exhibition, in co-production with Institute of Contemporary Arts, London
Curated by Stefan Kalmár and Richard Birkett of Artists Space, New York with Gregor Muir and Matt Williams of ICA, London
With thanks to the Bernadette Corporation Exhibition Supporters Group