Bernadette Corporation – ICA

ICA, Bernadette Corporation, Cover of Made in USA, issue 3, 2001

Bernadette Corporation is a mocking synergy of ambiguity, elusiveness and confidence.

Cashing in on the power and autonomy afforded a ‘corporation’ BC strutted through the nineties and into the new millennium with a powerful and idiosyncratic image.

Operating in industries adjacent to the art world, BC began as an unsuccessful club night in New York in 1994 but became an influential name in fashion, magazines and film, blurring the lines between art and advertising.

Their fashion label eventually disintegrated into a magazine of post-modern clutter and confusion. The title ‘Made in USA’ apparently came from the title of ‘Goddard’s worst film ever’. The magazine communicates a reinforced sense of vagueness, freedom and influence. Advertisements appear simply as brand logos. The aesthetic of ugliness is propagated.

Publishing Reena Spauling a book written by 150 authors, and releasing the anti-documentary Get Rid of Yourself – starring Chloë Sevigny, BC remain assured, faceless and aloof.

Bernadette Corporation 2000 Wasted Years, ICA, Installation view, Photography Mark Blower (4)

Bernadette Corporation 2000 Wasted Years, ICA, Installation view, Photography Mark Blower (7)

Cover of Made in USA, issue 3, 2001, A magazine edited/published by Bernadette Corporation.
Bernadette Corporation 2000 Wasted Years, ICA, Installation view, Photography Mark Blower.
Bernadette Corporation 2000 Wasted Years, ICA, Installation view, Photography Mark Blower.

-Helen D. Cogswell

Bernadette Corporation: 2000 Wasted Years is on display at ICA from 27 March – 9 June 2013.