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Art21 Film Screening
July 17, 2014 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pmfree and open to the public
Join us for this month’s film screening, presented in collaboration with Around the Bloc.
Films showing this July:
Assume Vivid Astro Focus “Spontaneity & Concentration” – 5:39
In this episode, artists Eli Sudbrack and Christophe Hamaide-Pierson, the principal members of the collective assume vivid astro focus, discuss their first paintings on canvas. In this new body of work (shown at The Suzanne Geiss Company in New York City, May 7–June 21, 2014) they continue to reference the transgender figure—a symbol for the idea that “somebody can transform their body at their will,” which as Sudbrack says, “is an act of freedom.” Best known for creating dense and colorful installations that incorporate sculpture, wallpaper, music, and performance, Sudbrack and Hamaide-Pierson typically invite artists and friends to collaborate with them, but decided not to for this project. Sudbrack explains why, saying that painting creates an opportunity for spontaneity and concentration, without the distraction of production concerns that accompany their large-scale installations.
Kara Walker “A Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby” – 9:37
This episode provides an in-depth look at the creation of Kara Walker’s monumental public project, A Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby (2014), at the Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn, NY. Seated in her Manhattan studio, Walker explains how the molasses-covered space, along with her extensive research into the history of sugar, inspired her to create a colossal sugar-coated sphinx, as well as a series of life-sized, sugar and resin boy figurines. A team of artists and fabricators are shown constructing and coating the sphinx, which, as Walker says, gains its power by “upsetting expectations, one after the other.” Commissioned by Creative Time, A Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby is the first large-scale public project by Walker who is best known for her cut paper silhouette installations, drawings, and watercolors. A Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby is on view until July 6, 2014. Thereafter, the factory will be demolished to make way for condominiums.
Catherine Opie “Sandusky, OH” – 4:22
Filmed in 2011, photographer Catherine Opie visits her hometown of Sandusky, Ohio. Opie wanders the town with her camera, searching for what she calls “that fine art Americana image,” and reflects on how her early experiences in Sandusky influenced her approach to photography. “It’s curious that I end up spending so much time by myself now photographing,” Opie says, “because it’s very similar to how I was when I was a kid—there was a lot of alone time.” At the site of her father’s former business, a craft supply factory, Opie describes the strong sense of patriotism that existed in her family home. Her photographs of high school football players, Tea Party rallies, and the first inauguration of President Obama demonstrate her own interest in American identities.
Janine Antoni “Collaborating with Stephen Petronio” – 5:21
Filmed in 2013, artist Janine Antoni and choreographer Stephen Petronio discuss their collaborative process. Instead of working strictly within their respective fields, Petronio and Antoni blur the lines between sculptor, performer, and choreographer as they create works for the stage as well as for the camera. After collaborating with Petronio on his piece Like Lazarus Did (2013), Antoni worked with him to make Honey Baby (2013), a video of Petronio company dancer Nick Sciscione moving through a honey coated sculptural space. “We were very interested in making a video where one could not feel gravity,” says Antoni.
From the 21c Collection:
Silvana Pestana and Sonia Cunliffe (Peruvian)
HD video – 8:07
“Uprooted” is the title and theme for Pestana and Cunliffe’s fantastical, multi-media meditation on the legacy of social and economic upheaval that ensued in the artists’ native Peru during the agrarian reforms of the late 20th century. Beginning in the 1970s, the Peruvian government redistributed rural property, requisitioning farms from landowners; families were displaced, houses and other buildings left to disarray, destruction, and decay. Pestana and Cunliffe cast their children in this narrative inspired by these events, imagining the fate of a family’s youngest members whose parents are traveling in Europe when the reform decrees are announced and who are forbidden to return to Peru. Any other caretakers have abandoned the scene, and the children must survive on their own, recreating or reinventing the power dynamics of both family and state. While Desarragio presents a fairy-tale vision, its haunting imagery of abandonment and survival resonates with real-world allusions.
Over the past decade, Art21 has established itself as the preeminent chronicler of contemporary art and artists through its Peabody Award-winning biennial television series, Art in the Twenty-First Century. The nonprofit organization has used the power of digital media to introduce millions of people of all ages to contemporary art and artists and has created a new paradigm for teaching and learning about the creative process. In addition to its PBS-broadcast series, Art21 produces short-format documentary series, viewable on multiple online platforms. The Exclusive short-format video series – with almost 200 episodes to date released biweekly on Art21.org – highlights featured artists from the Art21 roster using a blend of both new and previously unreleased footage.