Art21 is thrilled to announce that Season 4 of Art:21—Art in the Twenty-First Century has won three more awards in addition to the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award bestowed earlier this month, making this our most honored season to date:
- Platinum Best in Show from the Aurora Awards
- Gold Remi from the 41st WorldFest Independent Film Festival
- Silver Hugo from the 44th Hugo Television Awards
We extend our warmest congratulations to all of the extraordinary individuals and organizations who have contributed to making Art:21 such a phenomenal and continuing success!
Download the press release with full details here.
We switched servers last week and lost a few posts, but it looks as though we recovered them all now. Working out the kinks with the characters now; they should be fixed soon. In the meantime, keep reading…
Schaulager in Basel, Switzerland opens a two person exhibition this Saturday, April 26th, with the work of Monika Sosnowska and Art:21 Season 1 artist Andrea Zittel. Both artists respond to their different surroundings – Warsaw and Los Angeles/New York, respectively – in terms of architecture, living space, daily routine, and traditions. On the “stage” of Schaulager they’ve created an unexpected tableaux of sculptures, objects, and drawings.
Schaulager is an “open warehouse” that acts as the home for the works in the collection of the Emanuel Hoffmann Foundation that are not currently on exhibition. It is a new kind of space for art that looks at “the lives of works behind the curtain” in an autonomous facility independent of any museum, with specific qualities and functions of its own. Responding to the old and new needs for the storage of works of the visual arts, Schaulager dispenses with the notion of “box storage” and utilizes these rooms as exhibition spaces in of themselves, beyond a “waiting existence” for public presentation.
Watch this two-part conversation between artists Aaron Rose and Barry McGee(Season 1) on VBS’s ArtTalk. While the video features live shots of McGee’s artwork and installations, the interview subjects are recast as animated robotic talking heads, as though the dialogue was fed into a Speak & Spell. As elusive and reluctant to talk about his work as ever, here McGee lets his artwork literally speak for itself.
INHERITANCE MUST BE ABOLISHED
To see more of the artist’s aphorisms on the social networking site, click here.
One of the most interesting documentaries I have ever seen about Gabriel Orozco (Season 2) – and which was a total revelation into his work – is the Mexican production directed by Juan Carlos Martin in 2002. Excellent soundtrack and music too by Manuel Rocha Iturbide and the trance band Tosca Tango. I first saw it at INPUT’s (International Public TV) 2003 edition in Aarhus, Denmark, when it was presented in a session entitled “Artsy Fartsy?” dedicated to art documentaries. The documentary followed Orozco around the world while working in different projects and art pieces and allowed for a tremendously personal insight into the artist’s thoughts, creative process, and day-to-day life. We meet his friends, we see him drinking a beer and taking a nap in a hammock by a Mexican beach, we mingle in openings with him and see how he picks up trash from New York streets for his readymade installations. Orozco talks to us (the camera) and we wonder to what point his artistic vision influenced the filmmaker in his way of shaping the 82’ piece that keeps us stuck to the screen all along. It was specially interesting to discuss with the filmmaker the larger role of audiovisual production when tackling the theme of art or specific artists’ biographies. Fascinating questions about captivating audiences through sometimes intellectually challenging art arose in discussions with J. C. Martin and the other film directors during the session, as well as the format and shape art documentaries end up taking depending on the creative impulses and dictates of the artists themselves. Definitely worth looking into…
Aaron Rose, the California-based curator/musician behind the now-infamous Beautiful Losers exhibition, which championed the work of subculture “street artists” like Barry McGee, Margaret Kilgallen (both Season 1) and Raymond Pettibon (Season 2), has another genre-defying exhibition currently on view in Berlin at Circle Culture Gallery, the city’s preeminent commercial space for urban contemporary art. Entitled Passion for the Possible, this show presents a surprising facet of urban pop art (especially in conjunction with street art and all of its subversive implications), specifically the obsessive print-making efforts of Sister Corita, a one-time Catholic nun.
Actually, Sister Corita was more of a deviant than her sanctified vocation avowed and she ultimately left the church after being labeled “a guerilla with a paintbrush” (according to the press release). Her artistic practice is thus a fitting anachronism for Aaron Rose’s curatorial framework and general penchant for blurring boundaries between disparate cultures. The works on view, a combination of silkscreen prints, murals and sculpture incorporating “popular culture images such as archetypal American consumerist products…alongside spiritual texts, song lyrics and literary writings,” explicitly oppose the conformity typically associated with her brand of Catholicism’s hyper-conservative doctrine.
Sister Corita was predominately active in California during the 1960’s and 70’s. Her use of collective consumer imagery in mass-produced prints is noted in the press release as “the positive west-coast alternative to Warhol, possibly pre-dating him.” She left the Church in 1969, only to be diagnosed with cancer in the early 1970’s and given six months to live. She didn’t succumb to her illness for another seven years, but she nonetheless began an intense period of artistic production immediately following her diagnosis. Her work and her biography are both inspiring and inherently American (in relation to the bygone era that her work represents), bridging the divide between public service and self-expression, social responsibility and anti-institutional rebellion.
Passion for the Possible runs through May 30th. A monograph of works by Sister Corita, aka Corita Kent, entitled Come Alive! The Spirited Art of Sister Corita, was recently published by Four Corners Books.
Last month, Art21 and Mel Chin (Season 1) took arts educators from around the world by storm as they presented two of the most dynamic sessions the National Arts Education Association’s annual convention had to offer.The professional development session, presented by Kelly Shindler and Mel Chin, was standing-room only. Teachers were treated to a special presentation about Mel Chin’s Fundred Dollar Bill Project by Mel Chin himself. The following day, the Art21 Super Session was also packed with educators. After creating their own works of “Fundred Dollar Bill” art, teachers headed out to the street for a dramatic suprise entrance of the Fundred Project’s armored truck (pictured above), which runs on cooking oil supplied by school cafeterias.
Here on the left coast, plans to present the Fundred Dollar Bill Project to California’s educators are already underway through partnerships with local museums, KQED’s Spark program, and the Fundred Project’s national director.
Be sure to check out Art:21’s video of students who have already participated in the Fundred Dollar Bill Project and, if you’re an educator, help your students create their own Fundreds for donation to a neccessary and worthy cause. More information can be found on the project’s Web site, www.fundred.org. Password = Paydirt.
Last week, the Wiels Centre for Contemporary Art opened the first retrospective exhibition in Belgium of works by Art21 artist Mike Kelley (Season 1). On view through July 27, 2008, Mike Kelley: Educational Complex Onwards, 1995-2008, is conceived as a history in which every work forms a chapter in the artist’s career. According to Nicolas Trembley, writing for artforum.com, the exhibition “borrows its title from one of Kelley’s more famous works: a large-scale model, first shown at Metro Pictures in 1995, that represents the various schools the artist has attended.”
The Wiels Centre, which opened to the public in May 2007, is positioned as “neither a museum, nor a Kunsthalle or a centre for the fine arts, but an institution which articulates a set of complementary functions (exhibition, production and education).” Mike Kelley fills three floors of Wiels–a former brewery and an architectural landmark in the Brussels landscape. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue that includes texts by Diedrich Diederichsen, Anthony Vidler, Howard Singerman, Mike Kelley, and Wiels curator Anne Pontégnie. On April 30, Pontégnie will give a guided tour of the exhibition. Other public programs include I Love Mike, a series of creative workshops for children ages 6-12 years old that will explore themes and materials in Kelley’s work.
From April 19 through June 22, to mark the release of Codex Spero. Nancy Spero Selected Writings and Interviews 1950-2008 compiled by curator Roel Arkesteijn, de Appel in Amsterdam is hosting a solo exhibition by the Season 4 artist.
At once an ‘artistic testament’ and ‘radical manifest,’ the monograph contains a selection of the artist’s texts, personal statements, notes and interviews. The exhibition Spero Speaks includes exemplary works from different phases of Nancy Spero’s distinguished career as artist, activist, feminist and mentor.
Codex Spero. Nancy Spero Selected Writings and Interviews 1950-2008 is published by de Appel in collaboration with Roma Publications. Since 1975, de Appel has functioned as a site for the research and presentation of contemporary visual art through exhibitions, publications and discursive events. De Appel also functions as a platform for performances by visual artists, choreographers and theatre makers.