Skip to College News & Media site navigationSkip to main content

‘An unbound knot in the wind’ Exhibition Opens at Ramapo College

(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)October 17, 2019

Virginia Lee Montgomery, Water Witching, 2018, HD video (still)

MAHWAH, N.J. — An unbound knot in the wind, a Ramapo Curatorial Prize exhibition curated by Alison Karasyk, opens on Wednesday, October 30, in the Kresge and Pascal Galleries of the Berrie Center for Performing and Visual Arts. There will be an opening reception from 5-7 p.m. and curator and artist talks at 6 p.m. The exhibition continues through December 11.

An unbound knot in the wind is an innovative exhibition that includes commissions by Youmna Chlala and Virginia Lee Montgomery and works by Anna Betbeze, Louise Bourgeois and David Wojnarowicz. According to curator Alison Karasyk “An unbound knot in the wind takes as its starting point the Finnmark Witchcraft Trials of the 17th century and the Steilneset Memorial (2011) in Vardø, Norway, which commemorates the victims. The exhibition brings together artworks that position themselves in dialogue with this history through considerations of gendered and ecological power structures, and questions of memory and materiality.”

The Ramapo Curatorial Prize is awarded each year to a second-year graduate student at Bard College’s Center for Curatorial Studies.


Anna Betbeze lives and works in Los Angeles. She has had solo exhibitions at Mass MOCA; Utah MOCA; the Atlanta Contemporary; Nina Johnson, Miami; Markus Lüttgen, Cologne; Lüttgenmeijer, Berlin; Luxembourg & Dayan &, London; Kate Werble Gallery, New York; and Francois Ghebaly, Los Angeles. Her work has been shown at institutions such as MOMA PS1, Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, the Hessel Museum at Bard College, and the Power Station, Shanghai. Her work has been reviewed in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Artforum, Modern Painters, New York Magazine, Frieze, and The Los Angeles Times. She is a recent recipient of the Rome Prize.

Louise Bourgeois, internationally renowned artist, was born in Paris in 1911 and lived in New York from 1938 until her death in 2010. Using the body as a primary form, Bourgeois explored the full range of the human condition. From poetic drawings to room size installations, she was able to give her fears physical form in order to exorcise them. Memories, love, and abandonment are at the core of her complex body of work. Bourgeois was named Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French minister of culture in 1983. Other honors include the Grand Prix National de Sculpture from the French government in 1991; the National Medal of Arts, presented to her by President Bill Clinton in 1997; and the French medal of Commander of the Legion of Honor presented to her by President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2008. In 1993, she was chosen to represent the United States at the Venice Biennale, and in 1999 she was awarded the Biennale’s Golden Lion for a living master of contemporary art. Louise Bourgeois’s work appears in the most important museum collections worldwide and has been the subject of several major traveling retrospectives, including those organized by the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Kunstverein, Frankfurt; Tate Modern, London; the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; and Haus der Kunst, Munich, among many others.

Youmna Chlala is an artist and a writer whose work investigates the relationship between fate and architecture through drawing, video, sculpture, prose and performance. She participated in the 33rd Bienal de São Paulo (2018), Lofoten International Art Festival (2017), and Performa Biennial (2011). She has exhibited widely including at the Hayward Gallery, Rotterdam International Film Festival, The Drawing Center, Dubai Art Projects, Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Camera Austria, ICA London, CultuurCentrum Bruges and Art In General. Her book of poetry, The Paper Camera, is forthcoming by Litmus Press. She is a professor in the humanities & media studies and writing departments at the Pratt Institute.

Virginia Lee Montgomery is a filmmaker, sculptor and facilitator. She received her BFA from The University of Texas at Austin in 2008 and her MFA from Yale University in Sculpture in 2016. Working across video, performance, sound, and sculpture, her artwork is a research practice of metaphysics. Its content is surreal, latently autobiographical, and often with a feminist impulse. Montgomery’s work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions at the New Museum, Times Square Arts, Socrates Sculpture Park, La Panacée-MoCo, Montpellier, France, The Hessel Museum of Art, SculptureCenter, CRUSH Curatorial, False Flag, and Museum Folkwang, Germany, among others. She has been awarded residencies at the Carving Studio & Sculpture Center, Wright Laboratory, Coast Time, the Shandaken Project at Storm King, and the Vermont Studio Center. VLM was a Socrates Sculpture Fellow at Socrates Sculpture Park (2018-19) and was the recipient of Yale University’s Susan H. Wedon Award (2016). She is a current artist in residence at the University of Texas at Austin’s Material Research Science and Engineering Center.

David Wojnarowicz (1954-1992) was a painter, photographer, writer, filmmaker, performance artist and activist who was prominent in the New York City art world of the 1980s. A member of the first wave of East Village artists, Wojnarowicz began showing his work during the early 1980s in such now-legendary spaces as Civilian Warfare, Club 57, Gracie Mansion, Fashion Moda, and the Limbo Lounge. He gained prominence through his inclusion in the 1985 Whitney Biennial, and was soon showing in numerous museum and gallery exhibitions throughout the United States, Europe and Latin America. Wojnarowicz died of AIDS-related illness in New York City in 1992, at the age of 37. He is the author of five books. His artwork is in numerous private and public collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. The Estate of David Wojnarowicz is represented by P•P•O•W.

About the curator

Alison Karasyk is a curator and writer living and working in New York. She completed her M.A. at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College (CCS Bard) in 2018, and graduated from Oberlin College in 2012. Alison was Assistant Curator of the Lofoten International Art Festival (LIAF) 2017: I Taste the Future and has held curatorial and editorial positions at CRUSH Curatorial, Brooklyn Museum, the Museum of Modern Art and Aperture Foundation. Her research interests focus on the intersection of gender, space, memory and materiality. She is the 2018 recipient of the Ramapo Curatorial Prize.

Kresge and Pascal Gallery hours are Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 1 to 5 p.m. and Wednesday from 1 to 7 p.m.  For more information, contact Gallery Director Sydney Jenkins at 201-684-7147.


About Ramapo College

Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The comprehensive college is situated among the beautiful Ramapo Mountains, is within commuting distance to New York City, was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and boasts the best on-campus housing in New Jersey per Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Applied Mathematics, Business Administration, Contemporary Instructional Design, Computer Science, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a Doctor of Nursing Practice.


Press Release Archives

| 2024 | 2023 | 2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 |