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From the Executive Director: New and Familiar Routines

September sails in with a blend of energies and emotions. There are sensations of both familiarity and newness; feelings of settling back into past routines, but with different purposes. Some of us are more eager than others to return. Some are more eager than they let on to be. And yet others are ecstatic about the idea of beginning something new. Count me in that last category.

Today, we launch our final wave of film programming for the year, which will add six new films to our growing collection. And to sweeten the reveal, we’re releasing two new films today. You can watch them right now. See, ecstatic to be back!

Both of today’s releases feature Marcel Dzama, each focusing on the collaborative side of his practice. In one, we see Dzama collaborate on a series of drawings with another Art21 hero, Raymond Pettibon. In the other, Dzama and Pettibon are joined by actor and writer Amy Sedaris as they all collaborate on a film. These two stories that remind us of the great things that are possible when feeding off of the energy of others.

Over the next two months, we’ll put out four more new films. Stay tuned for stories on Aki Sasamoto, Stephanie Syjuco, Louise Despont, and Maryam Hoseini.

Do you have a September routine to which you are eager to return? Please share them with me at [email protected].

Finally, I am pleased to invite a few guest voices into this space for the next two editions of this newsletter. Our director of digital Jonathan Munar will pen this letter in October. And November will be covered by or director of video programming and production, Nick Ravich. Jonathan and Nick are the longest tenured members of our staff, with over 20 combined years of experience between the two of them. I am proud to have them to share their perspectives here.

I will return in December. Until then, I hope that you will be as refreshed from our latest film releases as I will certainly be.

Tina Kukielski
Executive Director and Chief Curator
September 4, 2019

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Marcel Dzama

September 4, 2019

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Screening in Brooklyn with Marcel Dzama

Fresh from our back-to-back premiere of films today featuring Marcel Dzama, we are thrilled to have the artist join us for a special screening event in Brooklyn. In addition to his own video work, Dzama will share a selection of films that have inspired his practice.

The event takes place on Tuesday, September 24, at Nitehawk Cinema in Williamsburg.

Tickets are on sale now.

Art during challenging times

Thank you to everyone who responded to last month’s prompt about the role of art during challenging times.

Not surprisingly, art viewing is among the more common go-to experiences. Penny S. from Kansas City, Missouri, shares that through visits to her local museum (the fabulous Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art), “my soul is stilled, quieted, and slowed down—put as at ease’ as it can be in these tumultuous times.” Ted L. from Nova Scotia shared that “art becomes the catalyst for active change and healing.” Absolutely.

Art making was, of course, the other most common response. Deb R. shared: “When times are tough—politically, socially, or emotionally—I go to my studio and just start cutting out papers. Keeping my hands busy with elaborate cuts is a sort of meditation. Then I see what I have, pick a background, and make a collage.”

Six films to close out 2019

I’ve said it before: I am proud of the fact that we have put out ten new films so far in 2019 across two waves of premieres. And I am extremely proud to introduce a third wave to close out the year.

Six releases are included in this wave. In addition to today’s pair of Marcel Dzama films, we will introduce stories featuring Aki Sasamoto, Stephanie Syjuco, Louise Despont, and Maryam Hoseini. Those films will come out every other Wednesday up through October 30.

Stay tuned with our fall 2019 film guide.

Thank you for supporting our work

As a non-profit organization, we rely on the generosity of viewers like you to help us continue to produce engaging films and educational resources on contemporary artists and art. If you’ve felt inspired by Art21 films, please consider donating today. Your gift will ensure the stories, art, and ideas of the most innovative artists of our time continue to inspire audiences around the world. Thank you for supporting our work.