Curator Talk: Linda Norden on Pierre Huyghe’s This is Not a Time for Dreaming (2004)

  • Pierre Huyghe, This is Not a Time for Dreaming, 2004. Live puppet play and super 16mm film, transferred to DigiBeta. 24 minutes, color, sound. Courtesy Marian Goodman Gallery, New York/Paris. Photo credit: Michael Vahrenwald


  1. Oct 26, 2023, 6 – 8 pm
Theater, Lower Level


Linda Norden, curator and writer and co-commissioner of Pierre Huyghe’s This is Not a Time for Dreaming (2004) will speak on Huyghe’s work. 

As Norden herself writes on This is Not a Time for Dreaming (2004): “This project with the French artist Pierre Huyghe–co-curated with Scott Rothkopf (then still a grad student) and originally titled Huyghe + Corbusier: Harvard Project–was commissioned by the Harvard Art Museums, but produced in collaboration with The Graduate School of Design and the Carpenter Center, under the aegis of what was then called the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies. Conceived by Huyghe as "a puppet allegory" on the complex anxieties around the institutional commission of an artist's project and a portrait of the Corbu building, the film has come to stand in for the broader implications of a project that underscores what Liam Gillick, the voice of the film's Corbusier/ Huyghe author-avatar, described as "the self-consciousness" around "the act of thinking hard about the what you might represent in terms of future content or past potentials," a self-consciousness "the author" was intent on suppressing. 

This program takes place on the occasion of the Carpenter Center's 60th anniversary exhibition This Machine Creates Opacities: Robert Fulton, Renée Green, Pierre Huyghe, and Pope.L. 

The exhibition will be on view until 9:00pm this evening, as a part of ArtsThursdays. On the last Thursday of every month during the academic year, the Carpenter Center exhibitions are open late! ArtsThursdays is a university-wide initiative sponsored by Harvard University Committee on the Arts (HUCA).

Linda Norden is a curator and writer who has taught throughout her career, most recently in Cornell's Architecture, Art and Planning Program and at the Malmö Art Academy in Malmö, Sweden, and at Miami Dade College. Norden served as curator of contemporary art at Harvard University's Fogg Art Gallery (now HUAM) between 1998 and 2006; directed the City University of New York's Graduate Center Gallery, The James Gallery, from 2008-10; and taught art history and methodology at Bard College, beginning in 1992, and then at Bard's Center for Curatorial Studies, where she participated in much of the early stage planning and served as thesis advisor through 2008. She served as commissioner of the U.S. Pavilion for the 2005 Venice Biennale, where she organized Ed Ruscha's project, "Course of Empire," with Donna DeSalvo. She has written about many contemporary artists for Artforum Magazine and for various museum catalogs and publications, including an essay with De Salvo, "Not Just Rooms and Right Angles," on Ruscha and installation, for the catalogue of the current Ruscha exhibition at MoMA. She has recently resumed a long-term conversation with artists Lizzie Fitch and Ryan Trecartin toward an essay she is writing on their decision to purchase a farm site in eastern Ohio (the state they both happened to grow up in), and whose current work responds to that place, and this moment, from their mid-country vantage. The essay tackles a feature length film begun in 2017 (still unfinished), and their ongoing development of a full-scale amusement park on their land.  

Norden has been actively involved in the early-stage development of two L.A. non- profit spaces - LAX and JOAN, Los Angeles, where she curated "Servane Mary: Remakes, 2006-2018," (2019) and "Heart Land," (2019) featuring the experimental film work of Peggy Ahwesh in collaboration with an installation by Yunhee Min. At both Harvard and the Graduate Center's James Gallery, Norden was charged with staking out a contemporary art exhibition program and creating a space in response to institutions then new to the sustained engagement of contemporary art and artists. At the Sert, she organized "Landmark Pictures: Ruscha, Gursky and the Bechers", "Extreme Connoisseurship"; "Ike Ude" (with Lauri Firstenberg); Sharon Lockhart's "Pine Flat," (with Bruce Jenkins), and oversaw exhibitions curated by (then) grad students, Ben Paul, "Wolfgang Tillmans: 'Still Life’"; and Scott Rothkopf, "Mel Bochner Conceptual Photography."