Art21, the award-winning filmmaking enterprise, is in the midst of its 11th season, which features artists and collectives like Cannupa Hanska Luger (previously), Hank Willis Thomas (previously), and Guerilla Girls. Grouped thematically in three episodes— “Everyday Icons,” “Bodies of Knowledge,” and “Friends & Strangers” —the new season centers around the political landscape in the U.S. and how, regardless of where they call home, the artists are shaping culture through care and a more meaningful consideration of what it means to be part of a community.
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“When we began thinking about how to frame this latest season of Art in the Twenty-First Century, we considered our current historical moment and decided to turn the lens inward and focus on the United States,” Tina Kukielski, the executive director and chief curator, said. “In this first episode, we wanted to highlight artists who challenge and question American monuments and iconography.” “Everyday Icons” centers on Amy Sherald (previously), Rose B. Simpson, Alex Da Corte, and Daniel Lind-Ramos, who each question historical narratives, subvert aesthetic traditions, and offer new visual languages for the contemporary landscape.
To coincide with the launch, Art21 is also sharing all of its past episodes for free viewing on YouTube in an effort to make the series more accessible. Seasons eight, nine, and ten are currently available and take viewers on journies from Johannesburg to Berlin, London to Beijing, and Mexico City to Chicago to follow artists like Zanele Muholi, Olafur Eliasson, Anish Kapoor, and Nick Cave. Other seasons are organized more thematically, grouping artists based on a common idea rather than physical location. Since debuting in 2001, Art21 has released nearly 40 episodes, offering insightful looks at how the art world, aesthetics, and cultural interests have evolved during the last two decades.
Episode 1 of Season 11 aired earlier this month, and the second is scheduled for June 23 on PBS. Keep an eye on Art21’s YouTube for the remainder of previous seasons to be released throughout the year.
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