EMPAC will present a screening of Systems, the fourth episode from Art21’s 5th season. Artists invent new processes to convey the attitudes of today’s supercharged, information-based society, examining why we find comfort in some systems while rebelling against others. Systems features artists who realize complex projects through acts of appropriation or accumulation. In some instances, they create projects vast in scope, which almost elude comprehension.
Julie Mehretu is an accomplished Ethiopian-American painter. Her often large-scale abstract paintings and drawings reference techniques of mapping and architecture to achieve a complexity that suggests turbulent atmospheres and dense social networks. Art21 filmed Mehretu in Berlin, where she has temporarily relocated her studio to accommodate an enormous painting—commissioned by a major financial institution in lower Manhattan—which, in its conception, addresses the history of market-based capitalism.
Influential mentor and teacher to several generations of artists, John Baldessari integrates elements of photomontage, painting, and language in his work. He employs visual juxtapositions to associate images with words and illuminate, confound, and challenge their meaning.
Kimsooja is a Korean-born artist who now lives and works in the U.S. She combines the techniques of video, performance and installation in pieces which feature repetitive actions, practices and forms. Often inserting her own body in dense urban environments, as well as in isolated rural settings, Kimsooja’s video works at times blur the boundaries between aesthetics and transcendent experience.
Applying strategies of mass production to hand-made objects, Allan McCollum explores the meaning of the unique work of art versus that of mass-produced objects for a society gripped by consumption. In order to create a recent new work, filmed by Art21, McCollum collaborated—strictly via email and phone—with craftspeople in Maine. He is best known for creating large quantities of nearly identical—yet still unique—component objects which then constitute a single work of art.
Art:21 - “Art in the Twenty-First Century” is the only series on television to focus exclusively on contemporary visual art and artists in the United States, and it uses the medium of television to provide an experience of the visual arts that goes far beyond a gallery visit. Fascinating and intimate footage allows the viewer to observe the artists at work, watch their process as they transform inspiration into art, and hear their thoughts as they grapple with the physical and visual challenges of achieving their artistic visions.