Bernadette Corporation

BC Reloaded, 2012


Is Everybody on the Floor, detail, 2009
courtesy of Greene Naftali Gallery, New York
photography by JASON MANDELL

from Ars Nova, 2009
courtesy of the artist and Greene Naftali Gallery, New York

book Launch, april 2011

book Launch, april 2011

The BC Corporate Story, 1997

The Earth’s Tarry Dreams of Insurrection Against the Sun, 2010
2-channel video, 2 flat screen television monitors, 2 DVD players
140 x 86 x 44 cm

Cover of Made in USA, issue 3, 2001
A magazine edited/published by BERNADETTE CORPORATION

from The Complete Poem, 2009


Creation of a False Feeling, 2000
Color photograph
Photographer: CRIS MOOR

only she could be other, 2011
Dornbracht TARA.LOGIC wall-mounted single-lever basin mixer with sandblast etching and hand engraving

Pasolini Painting, 2004

all images: courtesy the artists and Greene Naftali, New York (unless otherwise stated)

BERNADETTE CORPORATION was founded in 1994 on the premise that behind the blank and anonymous corporate façade was wide-open space, a wilderness where anything goes. From 1995 to 1997, it worked under the guise of an underground fashion label.

Fashion was interesting to us originally because it already operated across all these sectors, across all media. In the 1990s, fashion was a sort of Internet before the Internet. It was both a system and an image, and it moved very quickly. It was a high-speed connection between the street and the office tower, between New York, Paris and Hong Kong. But it wasn’t efficient communication; it was full of crossed signals, misinterpretations, failed transmissions, ridiculous avant-gardisms… Today, the Internet and fashion are exactly the same, so, for example, “anti-fashion” is only possible as anti-network, suicide pure and simple. – BERNADETTE CORPORATION in conversation with ANNIE OCHMANEK

In 1999 it self-published a magazine, Made in USA,

The first issue of Made in USA is devoted to how people create their own spaces, spaces that can be invisible or imaginary. You may have heard this trend called DIY (do-it-yourself) or Amateurism. We like to call it the EMPTY WIDE SPACE trend, a place we can all disappear to, instead of being anti-everything and writing the new manifesto, or instead of being pro-everything and buying the latest CD.

and began producing videos, most notably Get Rid of Yourself (2003). In 2005 BERNADETTE CORPORATION authored the much-acclaimed collective novel Reena Spaulings, published by Semiotext(e) which involved the participation of over 150 anonymous writers and took three years to complete. One of its latest efforts consist primarily of a long poem and 38 photographs in black and white and color of young models in jeans (The Complete Poem, 2009).

When we do fashion now, we are basically presenting information about the contemporary body and using the model as a stand-in for the artist or poet. At Meyer Kainer Gallery, we exhibited images of a nude model wearing nothing but diamond rings and necklaces from a jeweler on the Upper East Side. This was not a fashion statement on our part; it was just using the average, generic fashion image to speculate on contemporary poverty, which is sort of a non-idea with a non-image. It was a way to show up with nothing—an actual nothing that we could bounce ourselves off of for a moment while thinking about what happens when artists, like fashion, become just information. We didn’t make any of these images; they were commissioned to professionals—photographer, model, designer and stylist. The images are a series of basic instructions from us to them, re-distributed in the gallery as work. They are communications turned into content. – BERNADETTE CORPORATION in conversation with ANNIE OCHMANEK

These are but a few examples of the extremely varied practice of New York-based collective BERNADETTE CORPORATION, which currently consists of three members, BERNADETTE VAN-HUY, JOHN KELSEY and ANTEK WALCZAK.

It seems important to keep finding ways of suspending the function of the artist, but to do this as an artist. 

Good news: 2000 Wasted Years is the first retrospective by BERNADETTE CORPORATION. The exhibition recasts the works authored by the group since their inception in the early ‘90s. It opens Saturday the 8th September 2012 at Artists Space, New York.

To coincide with 2000 Wasted Years, all three issues of Made in USA are being reissued by Badlands Unlimited as hi-resolution e-books for the Apple iPad, iPhone, Amazon Kindle, and other e-readers.


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