Burn a Debt to the Present
Not many artists can say that they started out their career as an organiser of parties in a nightclub (1994) and then went from designing clothes and putting on fashion shows (1995-97) to publishing a fashion/art magazine (Made in USA, 1999-2001), to making art videos (Hell Frozen Over, 2000; Get Rid of Yourself, 2003) and writing a novel that was published by Semiotext(e) (Reena Spaulings, 2004), to setting up a prolific digital-film project during a residency with the Kunst-Werke in Berlin (‘Pedestrian Cinema’, 2005-06). This may have something to do with the fact that, at a time when artists are becoming increasingly professionalised, the artist in question here, Bernadette Corporation, did not go to art school. Although BC was an ‘outsider’ to the art world in terms of its background and its early projects, it was swiftly taken under the wing of important players. By 1996, Colin de Land, the legendary and unconventional New York dealer who ran American Fine Arts Co., had taken an interest in what BC was doing, as had the Paris-based curators/editors of Purple magazine, Olivier Zham and Elein Fleiss.