Did you know filming and editing costs for Art21 Exclusive videos with artists are paid for by donations to Art21? When we filmed Josiah McElheny last summer, he described what he took away from the Art21 experience:
Art:21 made me question what role the artist should have or can have in defining what art is.
What it made me realize is that if I, or other artists, are going to participate in documentaries, we really need to use that opportunity to try to define why art is important. That sounds like such a big subject, but I think artists can do it in a way that goes beyond ‘This is what artwork means.’
Art is a space in which the individual can function without regard for the structures that influence most of our life. Most people’s experience of their work life is to be in a structure that’s involved directly with making money, with helping people, etc. But art occupies one of the few places in life where there is a kind of open-endedness.
We all need to have this open space. I really believe that, and hopefully art can promote that. It’s what artists are doing and we need to explain that, each of us, in our own individual way.
We know that many who are reading this blog are working artists, teaching artists, and art-lovers. We’d love to hear from you in the comments below. How do you define what art is and why it is important?
All those who donate $10 or more to Art21 by Friday, June 20, 2008 will be entered to win Art21 DVDs and books. Read here for details. P.S. The Facebook Challenge is still wide open!