Silvia Kolbowski: The Sleep of Reason 


Screenings of the below; discussion with curator Kari Rittenbach, and the audience, will follow.


Wednesday 20 Feb 2019

7-9 pm
Presented by Yale Union at NW Film Center, at The Portland Art Museum

Proximity to Power, American Style, 200304
Digital slides (color), sound
Audio: 37.18 min.

That Monster: An Allegory, 2018
Video loop projection, black and white, 18 min.
Music: Excerpts from Metamorphosis 1 and Metamorphosis 2 by Philip Glass
© 1988 Dunvagen Music Publishers Inc. Used by Permission
Pianist: Dustin O'Halloran

New video project:

That Monster: An Allegory
An allegory about the human subjects that capitalism produces.

Video, with music and without music...

Senior Advisor, Terra Foundation Summer Residency
Giverny, France, July 2019

New posting on the Text/Interview page of website:
Reign of the White Glove by Jeffrey Stuker.

A new analysis of the Harry Winston, Inc. project (1990)

In Effects, No. 1, January 2018
Edited by Christopher Page and Orlando Reade

June 23-December 14, 2018
CCS Bard Hessel Museum
The Conditions of Being Art: Pat Hearn Gallery and 
American Fine Arts, Co. (1983-2004)

Opening Reception June 23rd, 2-5pm
Annandale-on-Hudson, New York
[includes an inadequate history of conceptual art, with archival material.]

October 1, 2017-February 4, 2018
Narrative Art
Musée d'art moderne et contemporain, Geneva
An exhibition organized by Paul Bernard, Lionel Bovier and Julien Fronsacq

[Includes Model Pleasure V, a new acquisition by MAMCO, Geneva.]

November 30th, 2017
Behind Glass
A conversation with Silvia Kolbowski
Bodega Gallery
167 Rivington Street, New York

7-8:30 pm
A discussion with Josephine Graf about storefront-related projects from the 1990s]
Audio now available on Text/Interviews section of this website:

November 3 - December 10, 2017
In Vitro 
Bodega Gallery
167 Rivington Street, New York

[Group exhibition; Includes the 2000 video, Sevenx7.]

"Window displays are still very much with us - as evidenced by Sara Deraedt's 
terrific 2016 photograph of a vacuum cleaner seen through glass -- and the exhibition 
ends without exploring virtual presentation strategies. Instead it leaves us with 
Silvia Kolbowski's riveting and prescient video, shot in 2000, in which she asks 
Orchard Street store owners whether they think the ultra-chic Lower East Side 
clothing shop Seven will change the neighborhood."
Anne Doran, Collector Daily

October 24th, 2017
This Monument Which is Not One
[Screening of A Few Howls Again and Like a Clap of Thunder)

Harvard University, Senior Loeb Lecture 
Art, Design, and the Public Domain
1pm, Gund Hall 124

12 September 2017 - 19 March 2018
Tension and Conflict
MAAT, Lisbon, Portugal
Co-curated by Pedro Gadanho and Luisa Santos

[The exhibition includes A Few Howls Again and Like a Clap of Thunder.]

"Video Art after 2008 focuses on an exceptional selection of artistic representations 
[22] which, with unusual eloquence, have resorted to video as a means of registering 
the impact and consequences of the 2008 global financial crisis."

23 May 2017 - 10 June 2017
That I am reading backwards and into for a purpose, to go on:
The Kitchen, New York
Curated by Magdalyn Asimakis, Jared Quinton, and Alexandra Symons Sutcliffe
May 23-June 10
[The exhibition includes A Few Howls Again and Like a Clap of Thunder.]

May 25 to June 25, 2017


Callicoon Fine Arts

A group exhibition with works by Etel Adnan, Cy Gavin, Kahlil Irving, Silvia Kolbowski, 

Jumana Manna, and Ulrike Müller

Opening reception: Thursday, May 25th, 6 to 8pm 

[Includes "Missing Asher."] 

a short text included in Out of Place, a publication
of Skulptur Projekte Munster, Spring 2017, 
distributed by frieze. Now on the texts/interviews page 
of this website.

March 23-April 23, 2017
You May Add or Subtract from the Work: 
On the work of Christopher D'Arcangelo and Michael Asher
[The exhibition includes my 2017 video loop, "Missing Asher.".]

Critics' Picks, Artforum:

In 1977, artist Christopher DArcangelo placed a blank centerfold in the journal of the Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art along with a note suggesting that readers paste the insert to the institutes walls. Blank would meet blank: The artist exhibiting there at the time was Michael Asher, who, as usual, hung nothing, but instead hired folks to spend their days in the gallery at four bucks an hour. From that historical intersection comes this shows historicizing axis. Curators Simon Leung and Sébastien Pluot present original scholarship on Asher and DArcangelo, including video interviews conducted by Pluot and Dean Inkster with the likes of Benjamin H. D. Buchloh and Lawrence Weiner; vintage ephemera; and copies of Ashers collected writings, and a 1978 Artists Space catalogue in which DArcangelo had his name replaced by blank space. Recent works by Dorit CypisBen KinmontEmilie Parendeau, and Silvia Kolbowski each reflect an explicit engagement with one of these influential artists.

Kolbowski's video Missing Asher, 2017, for instance, relates her hunt for a previous homage to the artist and presents her droopy 1990 brochure of Asher quotes. DArcangelo and Asher would likely have appreciated such recursions. In their way, they both insisted that artworks and art history dont make themselves. DArcangelo once exhibited an hourly accounting of his day job refurbishing lofts. Thus, the curators prominent placement of the Working Artists and the Greater Economy (W.A.G.E.) poster Wo/Manifesto, 2014, the last line of which reads W.A.G.E.DEMANDS PAYMENT FOR MAKING THE WORLD MORE INTERESTING. Clearly, its not enough to muse over the variously inequitable conditions of display, nor to top up the slim honoraria of art workers with the vague benefits of brand recognition. The four dollars an hour paid to Ashers participants, adjusted for inflation, meets the W.A.G.E. standard for performers. Rare is the artist today who could say the same.

Travis Dieh

April 18, 2017
Dead Subjects Speak
2nd Annual Brabson Filmmaker Lecture
Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts
Washington University in St. Louis
Organized by Monika Weiss

Friday, March 3, 7pm
Screening of A Few Howls Again at
Northwestern University Block Museum of Art 
as part of the program:
The Gay Left: Homosexuality in the Era of Late Socialism
Together with Bruce LaBruces The Raspberry Reich, 2004
Organized by Thomas Love

Installation Art and the Practices of Archivalism
Routledge, 2016
David Houston Jones, Associate Professor of 
French Literature and Visual Culture at the University of Exeter, UK

With an extensive analysis of After Hiroshima Mon Amour
in a chapter entitled 
"The Relational Archive: Silvia Kolbowski and Eija-Liisa Ahtila."

Find book here (cut and paste):

Another article by David Jones on After Hiroshima Mon Amour, 
"The inadequate archive: ethical remaking in Silvia Kolbowskis After Hiroshima mon amour," 
can be read here (cut and paste):

Just what is it that makes today's museums so different, 
so appealing? Notes on a Museum of Resistance

My contribution to the "Returning" online platform at 
San Francisco MoMA,  by Grupa O.K.

April 15 - July 23, 2016
Tues - Sat, 2:30 - 7:30
Opening 7pm, April 14

an inadequate history of conceptual art
Institut national d'histoire de l'art
Galerie Colbert, salle Roberto Longhi
2 rue Vivienne our
6 rue des Petits-Champs
75002 Paris

Une table ronde autour dan inadequate history of conceptual art 
se tiendra en salle Walter Benjamin le vendredi 15 avril à 11 heures 
et réunira, autour des notions darchives, de mémoire et dexpérience, 
Silvia Kolbowski, Sébastien Pluot, Larisa Dryansky et Johanne Lamoureux. 

[ Curated by Johanne Lamoureux; Poster: Marc Riou]


The first full installation of an inadequate history of conceptual art
in New York since its first installation at American Fine Arts in 1999.
In the group exhibition:

In Place Of
Curated by Leah Pires
Miguel Abreu Gallery
88 Eldridge Street, New York
January 10th through February 7th, 2016

From the press release:
"This exhibition brings together work that, in various ways, might be understood
as placeholders: for objects withdrawn for legal or political reasons; for absent bodies;
for anticipated content; for unfulfilled desires or needs; for the otherwise forgotten; for
those who choose to drop out; or simply because a surrogate was good enough."
[Photo, top: Stephen Faught; Photo, bottom: Dushko Petrovich ]

Lecture: Dead Subjects Speak
Carnegie Mellon School of the Arts
Tuesday, December 1, 2015, 5pm
McConomy Auditorium

A discussion at Cabinet Magazine
The Magazine as Medium 2: The Questionnaire
Panelists: Hal Foster and Silvia Kolbowski
Moderated by Lori Cole
Monday, 11 May 2015
7-9 PM

What is the avant-garde? What constitutes political art? What should Latin

American art be? These are just a few of the questionnaires issued by

editors from the late nineteenth century through the present in publications

ranging from La Révolution Surréaliste to the Partisan Review to Artforum.

This evening's panelists will examine both the impulse to issue questionnaires

and their relationship to aesthetics: Hal Foster will discuss several

questionnaires from October on visual culture, the contemporary, and recessional

aesthetics, while Silv

"A few howls again?"


Commissioned by Taipei Bienniel, 2010; Curated by Lin Hong-John and Tirdad Zolghadr

September 7 - November 14, 2010

A few howls again? "resurrects" the brilliant and notorious German journalist and political militant, Ulrike Meinhof (1934-1976) in a stop-motion photo "animation" video loop with titles, as well as installed photos. The project raises questions about contemporary state violence and political resistance.

At left are installation views of the work at the Taipei Bienniel.

See this link for an excerpt of the video under project listing. (link)

"After Hiroshima Mon Amour" and "A Movie Will Be Shown Without the Sound"

May 8, 2009-June 14, 2009
One-person exhibition at Moderna Galerija, Ljubljana, Slovenia

The projection on opposite walls of a colored rectangular space of "After Hiroshima Mon Amour" (2008) and "A Movie Will Be Shown Without the Sound" (2006) allows the spectator to choose a position from which to take in either the Resnais/Duras film "Hiroshima mon amour" (1959), played without sound or titles, or "After Hiroshima Mon Amour." Enclosed in the same visual and aural space, the video and the film have the possibility of transforming each other.

"Nothing and Everything"

One-person exhibition at Leonard and Bina Ellen Gallery
Concordia University, Montreal
January 30 - March 7, 2009
Curated by Michele Theriault

Curator's statement:
This exhibition presents two major works, produced ten years apart, which consider very different contemporary issues. On the one hand, "an inadequate history of conceptual art" (1998-1999) reflects upon the renewed interest in Conceptual Art, and on the other, "After Hiroshima Mon Amour" (2008), engages with American military interventions in Iraq, and the associated criminal neglect of post-hurricane New Orleans. These works offer subtle and provocative explorations of the meeting of unconscious forces with social, political, and historical structures as they are imbricated, not only with these events, but also with forms of art, cinema and writing that have radically transformed existing conventions.

A catalogue of the same title, with a discussion between Theriault and Kolbowski can be ordered from

"After Hiroshima Mon Amour"

One-person exhibition at La><art, Los Angeles
September 20 - November 1, 2008. (web link) (press release)
Curated by Christopher Bedford

"Manifesto Marathon"

Participation in Manifesto Marathon, Curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist
Serpentine Gallery, London
October 19, 2008 (web link)
All photos © Serpentine Gallery, London and
Mark Blower, photography

"Younger and Stronger Men"

F.T. Marinetti's "Futurist Manifesto" was scrambled and turned into a dialogue. A performance including 60 images of mass audiences from around the world, and two actors each reading parts of Marinetti's scrambled manifesto as a pseudo political debate dialogue.

"an inadequate history of conceptual art"
One-person exhibition at Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, Poland
3/9/07 - 4/22/07
Curated by Pawel Polit
Photos 3-11 by Mariusz Michalski

This 1998/1999 project was reinstalled, with the addition of a Polish audio translation, and a new projection component. Due to the fact that a loan of audio equipment from Bang + Olufsen, required for the original specifications, was not able to be procured, this component was substituted with high-end Polish audio equipment from the 1970s.

Selected Bibliography
an inadequate history of conceptual art (Center for Contemporary Art, Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw), 2007. (Includes an interview by Luiza Nader.) (See Publications)
Review, (April 2007) In Polish

ghd sale

© 2019 Silvia Kolbowski