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Weekly Watchlist: Charged with an Amassed Energy

Ursula von Rydingsvard constructs a concept piece by piece

Where do vision and execution diverge?

From her Brooklyn studio earlier this year, Ursula von Rydingsvard spoke to us about transforming a concept into a realized work.

“Very often, my work never comes out the way I originally thought,” said the artist. “If you draw exactly what you’re going to make, you’re putting yourself in jail. It’s so boring. It’s not like that.”

Read the full interview.

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Your indispensable, generous donations make our work possible. With safety measures in place, Art21 has resumed on-site film shoots and will release films in the coming year, and will produce even more digital education programs allowing for multiple avenues to discover and interact with contemporary art. Resources that are in higher demand now than ever before.

If you are able at this time, please consider making a year-end contribution to Art21. Your donation helps to ensure artists’ voices have a lasting impact for generations to come.

Ann Hamilton weaves joy through interaction

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For the event of a thread (2012), Ann Hamilton created a large-scale multisensory installation in the cavernous drill hall of the Park Avenue Armory in New York City. Visitors engaged with the participatory installation through a network of interconnected swings linked to a massive white curtain hung 70 feet high.

“It’s very intimate, and yet, it’s very large and anonymous—this quality of solitude and being in a congregation or group of people,” says Hamilton.

“The feeling of that is actually very comforting, and something that we need.”

Playlist: Call & Response

Mika Tajima in her Brooklyn studio, 2012. Production still from the New York Close Up film “Behind the Scenes with Mika Tajima.” © Art21, Inc. 2013.

When artists engage in a back-and-forth as part of their creative practice, an element of dialogue—whether with history, surroundings, audience, or collaborators—invites added voices and perspectives to the development of a work.

Imbuing their process with a collaborative energy, the artists featured in this playlist of films embrace antiphony by introducing a creative dialogue. One side speaks and another responds, each informing or commenting on the other.

Watch the playlist.

Recommendations from Art21 staff

Watch: We Are the Champions on Netflix

There’s a new show that celebrates the quirks, dedication, and curious spirits of us humans woven through a series of competitions that will blow your mind. From cheese rolling to chili eating to frog jumping, each contest is uniquely peculiar but overflows with humor, kindness, and empathy. Just what we need for the holidays.

Shared by Lolita Fierro, Associate Director, Major Gifts and Special Events; Watch now on Netflix (with subscription)

Watch: Fly High Duluth from SNL on YouTube

I have a particular fondness for SNL skits centered around fictional musical groups. Though Crisis of Conformity has long been a favorite, I’ve only recently stumbled upon this absurd gem of a performance: a Will Forte-fronted supergroup powering through their morning talk show theme song. And with all the talent in the SNL cast at the time, what a supergroup it truly was. Fly high Duluth!

Bonus: Transport yourself to a relaxing afternoon in Massachusetts for the holidays with a breezy number from the Blue Jean Committee.

Shared by Jonathan Munar, Director of Digital; Watch now on YouTube