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Art 21: Art in the Twenty-First Century (Season 6)
Educational Films
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Balance [electronic resource]

In what ways can art convey equilibrium or disequilibrium? How do artists perceive and express reality? This "Art in the Twenty First Century" episode explores the gap between art and existence. Often described as a realist, landscape painter Rackstraw Downes views the act of seeing and the art of representation as culturally taught as heat tends to the perils and pleasures of perception. With minimal means, Robert Mangold translates the most basic of formal elements into paintings, prints, and drawings whose simplicity of form expresses complex ideas. Sarah Sze builds her installations and intricate sculptures from the minutiae of everyday life, imbuing mundane materials, marks, and processes with surprising significance. These artists demonstrate that the smallest change in a line, [...]
2015; 2012

Change [electronic resource]

The Art in the Twenty-First Century documentary Change examines how artists respond to a world in flux and act as agents of change. Ai Weiwei infuses his sculptures, photographs, and public artworks with personal poetry and political conviction in critical examinations of contemporary Chinese social and political issues. In sculptures of clay, wood, and metal, El Anatsui explores materials and formal elements that relate to his aesthetic and cultural environment, exemplifying change and revealing the eternal cycle of all things. Working between conceptual and documentary approaches to image making, Catherine Opie investigates the ways in which photographs both document and give voice to social phenomena in America today. Weiwei, Anatsui and Opie bear witness, through their work, to t [...]
2015; 2012

History [electronic resource]

This "Art in the 21st Century" episode explores how artists mine the past to explore the present and use their own histories to examine the human condition. Painter and sculptor Glenn Ligon examines American identity through found sources-literature, Afrocentric coloring books, photographs-to reveal the ways in which the history of slavery, the civil rights movement, and sexual politics inform our understanding of contemporary society. A pioneer of performance as a visual art form, Marina Abramovic has used her body to test her physical, mental, and emotional limits in a quest for heightened consciousness, transcendence, and self-transformation. In black and white videos, Mary Reid Kelley presents her take on the clash between utopian ideologies and the realities of women's lives in [...]
2015; 2012

Boundaries [electronic resource]

The artists in this episode, David Altmejd, Tabaimo, Lynda Benglis, and Assume Vivid Astro Focus synthesize disparate aesthetic traditions, present taboo subject matter, discover innovative uses of media and explore the shape-shifting potential of the human figure.
2015; 2012