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Weekly Watchlist: Sweaty, Slow, and Serene

Mika Rottenberg gets the sweat flowing

Through a collaborative work by artists Mika Rottenberg and Jon Kessler titled SEVEN (2011), performers worked up a sweat before a live audience in an immersive sculptural installation.

Blending fiction with reality, the sculpture-cum-video-installation was activated by in-person performers who endured sitting in a sauna-like “Chakra Juicer” several times a day, where their sweat was collected and processed in a staged on-site laboratory. A video component depicted the transit of the extracted fluids from New York City to a rural community in Botswana.

“What art tries to do is take this abstract substance of being alive,” said Rottenberg, “and make it something that’s tangible.”

Deepen your connection to Art21

15 films capture artists who find serenity in silence

Marina Abramović in Hudson, New York, 2011. Production still from the Art in the Twenty-First Century episode, “History.” © Art21, Inc. 2012.

While some artists fill their studios with noise and action, others require a certain quiet—an intimacy facilitated through stillness. Distractions must be set aside in order to tap into the deepest levels of inventiveness. For artists whose work and practices exist in this quiet, they tune their energies to develop environments that foster peacefulness for creators and viewers alike.

The artists in our Slow Unfolding Moments playlist find serenity in silence and ask us to press pause so we can find it too.

Watch the playlist.

New educator resources for digital films

Developed to accompany films from our Extended Play and New York Close Up series, this special collection of Educators’ Guides are available individually, by featured artist, as free downloadable resources.

Our latest guide is designed to accompany the film “Alex Da Corte: 57 Varieties,” which captures artist Alex Da Corte at work on a series of 57 videos for his monumental installation, Rubber Pencil Devil (2018).

Download now.

Recommendations from Art21 staff

(Re)visit: Memories past and present at the ICA Boston

Firelei Báez’s upcoming epic installation at the ICA Boston’s Watershed got me thinking about Art21’s long relationship with that institution—most recently having filmed John Akomfrah’s video installation, “Purple,” for our “London” episode—as well as my own personal relationship with the museum.

I grew up in the Boston area and only recently remembered what was probably my first exposure to contemporary art: Chris Burden’s All the Submarines of the United States of America, back in the late 1980s when the ICA was still maddeningly and charmingly housed in an old Back Bay firehouse. I don’t recall much beyond that particular work, but I do remember intuiting that if art could be model submarines strung from the ceiling—and could contradictorily embody both childhood fantasy and real-world violence—then art was something that I could get really into.

So a shout out to high school friend Matt H. who took me to that Burden show…and who I think may have gotten me drunk for the first time at his Boston University dorm as well?

Shared by Nick Ravich, Director of Video Programming and Production; ICA Boston is open Tuesdays–Sundays

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