The Museum of Modern Art, Indianapolis Museum of Art, and Walker Art Center are some of the illustrious cultural spaces where one might expect to see our award-winning film series Art in the Twenty-First Century. It’s true that host organizations have traditionally included such museums, as well as universities, libraries, and cultural centers. But Art21 screenings have also happened in the unlikeliest of places, from a water treatment center in Wichita, Kansas to a research base in Antarctica to a former drill hall in Ethiopia.
In my short time here as Art21’s Director of Education, I have heard incredible stories about enthusiastic individuals and spaces opening their doors to friends, colleagues, and the general public with the sole purpose of sharing Art21’s film series. I can hardly wait to hear new stories that I’m certain will emerge during our yearlong screening initiative Access 100 Artists.
Access is our external screening program, which started back in 2007 to coincide with the Season 4 release of our PBS series. Now six seasons in and Art21 is celebrating an important milestone: to date, we have profiled 100 contemporary artists. In conjunction with our 100 Artists celebration, we’re offering our entire collection of films (including New York Close Up) totally free of charge to partner organizations new and old.
Access 100 Artists aims to be a worldwide festival of free Art21 film screenings. From a small dinner party with friends to a 24-hour outdoor jubilee, no venue is too small or too large. Anyone can participate. Here’s how:
- Register at www.art21.org/access. Share your screening dates with us and we’ll announce them here.
- Use our online resources and discussion guides for pre- and post-screening activities.
- Promote your event with Access postcards. We’ll mail these right to your door along with other materials that will help make your event successful.
- Tell us what went down! Who came? What did you screen? What did you talk about? Enquiring minds want to know.
- Add your pictures to our Access Flickr group and help us grow our visual archive of stories.
By getting involved with Access 100 Artists and sharing your experiences, the education team here gains greater insight into the many different ways that Art21 films are used and shown around the world. We’ll not only share your stories with people in our office, we might get in touch with you and ask for quotes or a blogpost. We’re looking to you to re-think the relationships and connections between the artists we’ve featured. You know what we do. We want to hear your stories!
From the west to the east coast and over to Taiwan, Art21 artists are involved in a number of new and large-scale exhibitions:
- Works by Barry McGee (Season 1) and Philip Frost are the focus of mindthegap, the inaugural exhibition of Prism, a three story gallery located on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles. Curated by P.M. Tenore, founder of RVCA clothing company and the associated publication ANP Quarterly, the display includes embellished baseball bat and surf board sculptures, paintings, film and interactive installations. Flip through images of the show at Wallpaper.com.
- Undercover: Performing and Transforming Black Female Identities is currently on view at the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art in Atlanta. The all-star artist roster includes Ellen Gallagher (Season 3), Cindy Sherman (Season 5), Renée Cox, Lyle Ashton Harris, Lauren Kelley, Mequitta Ahuja, Kalup Linzy, Wangechi Mutu, Lorraine O’Grady, Gordon Parks, Lorna Simpson, Renée Stout, and Mickalene Thomas. Undercover runs through December 5; a closing reception will take place December 10. Read Rebecca Cochran’s review of the exhibition for Artforum.com.
- Days and Giorni, two sound installations by Season 1 artist Bruce Nauman, are on view at The Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) through April 4, 2010. These works made their international debut in Bruce Nauman: Topological Gardens, the exhibition organized by PMA in conjunction with the Universitá Iuav di Venezia and the Universitá Ca’ Foscari di Venezia, to represent the United States in the 53rd Venice Biennale. Days and Giorni at PMA marks the first time in seven years that Nauman is showing new major installations in the United States. Film and video works made by the artist in the late 1960s — Dance or Exercise on the Perimeter of a Square (Square Dance); Slow Angle Walk (Beckett Walk); and Wall-Floor Positions — are also on view.
- In more Philly news, the PMA and the Fabric Workshop and Museum (FWM) will present Fallen Blossoms, a multi-site exhibition of works by Cai Guo-Qiang (Season 3). A series of four gunpowder drawings and a sculptural installation will be on view inside the PMA in a presentation titled Light Passage. Two newly commissioned works, Time Flies Like a Weaving Shuttle and Time Scroll, will be on display at FWM. One of Cai’s signature “explosion events” has been commissioned for the exhibition and will take place at both sites on opening day, December 11.
- Hanging Out in the Museum is Cai’s second collaboration with the Taipei Fine Arts Museum in Taiwan. The retrospective exhibition features new gunpowder drawings, and the site specific installation Cultural Melting Bath (1997), which invites audiences to join a medicinal bath located in the museum’s outdoor courtyard. Hanging Out in the Museum remains on view through February 1, 2010.
- Cleveland Cavaliers center Shaquille O’Neal has added curatorial work to his resume. His forthcoming exhibition Size DOES Matter will explore the idea of scale in contemporary art through works by Tim Hawkinson, Paul Pfeiffer (both Season 2), Fred Wilson (Season 3), Jeff Koons, and Yinka Shonibare MBE (both Season 5), among others. Hosted by the Flag Art Foundation in New York, the exhibition is scheduled to open February 19, 2010. In Lindsay Pollock’s report for Bloomberg News, O’Neal says, “As a curator, I have a responsibility to the artists, who are my ‘teammates.’ We all have to make each other look good — no different than what I do on the court.’’
- The new home of the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) — designed by Season 2 artist Maya Lin — opened to the public in September. The 14,000 square-foot space incorporates environmentally sustainable design solutions, and features a sky-lit courtyard that “harkens back to the memory of a traditional Chinese courtyard house.” Lin says, “MOCA’s new space focuses attention on individuals and families of Chinese heritage who have made their homes throughout the country, and who are very much a part of the fabric of this nation. The space was designed to show the dynamic presentation of the Chinese American story, as an integral part of the greater, and continually evolving, American story.” Read more about MOCA’s new building here.
- Season 1 artist Richard Serra is included in the group exhibition 1969 at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in Long Island City, New York. Serra’s work was highlighted (along with Nauman’s) in Peter Schjeldahl’s review for The New Yorker. Schjeldahl states, “The year’s most original artists were the post-minimalists Bruce Nauman and Richard Serra…Nauman and Serra addressed a culture in which “artist” was becoming a job description, at once secure and drained of meaning. Having nothing to do, but having to do something, they made the situation clear and just a little bit dramatic.” Read the entire review here.