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Weekly Watchlist: Doreen Garner Shifts Her Tone

Seeing Doreen Garner at work is inspiring. In our previous two films featuring Garner, it is obvious that she thinks deeply about Black American life and history—how she can best support Black communities and tell our stories. Her work attends to the absence of Black imagery in the American tattoo tradition, the histories of abuse suffered by Black people in the U.S., and legacies of violence which extend into the present. So, what is most magical for me about today’s new film is getting to see another side of her work and life, among friends and having fun.

So often the histories we hold as Black Americans are mired in violence, erasures, and injustices. In this film, Garner explicitly questions how we can address these traumas without further traumatizing their victims, seeking new ways of making and exhibiting work to better care for Black audiences while continuing to tell challenging stories. However, alongside these important questions, we are given a glimpse into a world where these questions can melt away for a few hours, when Garner is in community amongst Black tattoo artists, having fun at Coney Island, and hosting a picnic at Prospect Park. Today’s new film shows how, amidst the knowledge of all that is wrong in the world, we might still find joy, find our people, and through this find new ways to tell our stories.

Jurrell Lewis
Curatorial Assistant
November 3, 2021

Deepen your connection to Art21

Event: Screening and Conversation with Doreen Garner

Join us from anywhere tomorrow, November 4, at 7:00 p.m. ET for a special program to celebrate today’s premiere of “Doreen Garner in Her Own Terms”—the latest film from our current fall season.

Following a screening of the film, the artist will be joined by Art21 curatorial assistant, Jurrell Lewis, for a conversation and Q&A.

This program is free and will take place via Zoom.

Register now.

Explore: Community

Installation view of Alfredo Jaar’s The Silence of Nduwayezu (1997). Production still from the Art in the Twenty-First Century episode, “Protest.” © Art21, Inc. 2007.

Collapsing boundaries between artist and audience, the artists in our Community collection facilitate making by, with, and for a community.

Wield the social and political power of art with Tania Bruguera, enter the community spaces of participants photographed by Zanele Muholi, and engage in the histories uncovered by Alfredo Jaar in our Community collection.

Explore Community.

Five artists explore their artistic inheritances in five new films

From left to right: Kameelah Janan Rasheed, Tanya Aguiñiga, John Akomfrah, Doreen Garner, and Salman Toor. © Art21, Inc. 2021.

In our final programming season of 2021, we are delighted to deliver five new films across our Extended Play and New York Close Up series.

Stream the first three releases of the new season today.

This season features five artists—Tanya Aguiñiga, John Akomfrah, Doreen Garner, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, and Salman Toor—who each find a place amongst familial and creative lineages.

Tune in for a new premiere every Wednesday through mid-November at 12:00 p.m. ET on Art21.org our YouTube channel.

See the film guide.

Upcoming workshop for educators

Join us on Tuesday, November 9 at 7:00 p.m. ET for a workshop that challenges educators to get outside.

Why teach outside the classroom? Moving between the space of our classrooms, school campuses, and our communities, four expert educators talk about the benefits of teaching installation and site-specific art, as well as how it can be accomplished with students in a wide variety of settings that doesn’t necessarily cost a lot.

This program is free and will take place via Zoom.

Register now.

Visit our education calendar for a list of upcoming workshops for educators.

A year in review

Each year, the Art21 annual report serves as a digest of the organization’s activities, including those across film, education, digital, events, and community outreach.

Explore the latest edition of the Art21 annual report.