Darren Bader, September to November 2014

Darren Bader was born in 1978, lives and works in New York City, and is the recipient of the Calder Prize 2013.

Darren Bader's artistic practice includes language and writing as a medium. His installations often take on a strange character.

The artist associates objects that are not seemingly related to each other. Some seem to have undergone no modification, but very quickly the object comes to life or emits a sound totally foreign to its usual nature or function.

Thus, the artist always introduces touches of humour or poetry into his work, creating links between all these disparate objects.

Looking at Darren Bader's work, one can see that it is not without pleasure that the artist blurs the lines. He can lead the viewer to a sense of absurdity or poetry, as it is sometimes difficult to detect coherence in his assemblages.
But at the same time their association seems very far from accidental: "My work is a surrealist undertaking," explains Darren Bader, "but not voluntarily, it seems to be a natural vocation.

Darren Bader also plays on the boundaries and limits of artistic practices. Very often, he uses the notion of a society's culture. He appropriates a number of media: films, music, literary texts, digital images, or works by other artists.


Darren Bader uses all these media as "ready-made", which he presents in his exhibitions, accompanied by food, furniture, and sometimes live animals. The artist underlines with great mischief the economy of cultural life, as art has not escaped the economic transformations of society, art has become more codified, the notions of authorship and ownership have also evolved, it has also become a commodity.

Darren Bader exhibited in 2014 at the Andrew Kreps Gallery in New York, in 2013 at the Franco Noero Gallery in Turin and in 2012 at MoMA PS1 in New York. He regularly participates in group exhibitions, for example in 2014 at Nuit Américaine, Office Baroque in Brussels, Parcours, Art Basel, Basel, Biennale of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. In 2013, among the exhibitions where he was present are: Antigrazioso at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, Anamericana, American Academy Foundation in Rome.


Darren Bader studied cinema and art history, he regularly collaborates in catalogue editions and curates exhibitions.

Darren Bader experienced his residency at Atelier Calder as a true experiment, immersing himself in this new cultural, historical and sociological environment.
His imagination was nourished, before his residency, by romantic images of French culture, the myth of "the artist creating alone in the middle of the forest and the fields". As usual, he began by observing, reading and watching films, which for him symbolized French culture.

Darren Bader realized a specific project totally in line with his lived experience, conceived from all the elements that participated in his total immersion: sounds, objects that may have interested him during his residency.
He also wrote a text on his perception of space and light in the studio. What interested Darren Bader was the confrontation of his work with a new type of space, involving new constraints, new responses to the norms of the usual exhibition space, essentially devoted to contemplation.

The free form of this installation, joins Darren Bader's practice of re-appropriation, by selecting and associating cultural references, (pieces of music, texts), in order to create a new space often in the field of the absurd.