Playlists

Art21 Educator Miranda Best shares a playlist of films that informed her unit on “Community,” inspiring student’s artwork and representing the strength and significance of group bonds.

Teaching with Community

Artists are often portrayed as solitary creators, working in the isolation of their studios. While independent work and reflective thought are vital to many artists’ work, collaboration, connection, and community are essential to most artists’ practices. Sometimes community inspires the work, other times community is created through the work itself. Often the work is a result of both.

As a high school art teacher, helping my students recognize, reflect upon, and celebrate the circles of support that surround them can be affirming. I started our “Community” unit by viewing several examples of artwork by Judith Scott and Dan Miller, who are a part of the Creative Growth Art Center. Then students watched films about Robin Rhode and Kerry James Marshall. Upon viewing the different Art21 films, engaging in dialogue with their classmates, and collecting images and photographs from the communities of their choosing, students set out to make their original community paintings. Each student chose to represent the sense of belonging in their own way. Maddie focused on her awakening political engagement, Emmy depicted an early-morning workout with the swim team, and Jeannie painted a celebration of her cultural heritage. Within the community of our classroom, each student was able to create a painting about the importance of belonging to something bigger than themselves.

This playlist incorporates many of the videos I presented to my students to inform our “Community” unit and inspire their artwork. The artists in this playlist find inspiration through their connections with communities, give their experiences shape and form, and imagine new possibilities of rehabilitation and growth. Working with groups that have been traditionally underrepresented, misrepresented, or ignored completely, the videos in this playlist remind us of the strength and significance of group bonds.

Read how Miranda teaches with this playlist in her classroom.

by Miranda BestJanuary 15, 2020 10 videos • 1:55:03 total runtime

Protesting policy, war, or social norms, this playlist explores the ways artists may challenge the status quo and give voice to a movement. From documentary photography illustrating the contradictions of American life to the theatrical retelling of history, these artists create works that provide urgent points of reflection.

Taking a Stand

In tumultuous times, art can serve as a bridge for understanding, while also providing tools for dissent. “Think like us. Hate like us. Fear like us.” These are some of the slogans featured in the work of Barbara Kruger, who is known for making bold statements. “I want my work to create commentary,” she explains. While some artists may intentionally create works that respond to political circumstances, others may do so by default. “What I’m doing is absorbing and processing the world around me and it’s becoming political,” reflects Stephanie Syjuco. “I don’t think I have a choice anymore. It’s just my reality.”

Protesting policy, war, or social norms, this playlist explores the ways artists may challenge the status quo and give voice to a movement. From documentary photography illustrating the contradictions of American life to the theatrical retelling of world history, these artists create works that provide urgent points of reflection.

by Art21January 9, 2020 12 videos • 1:32:36 total runtime

Never stop questioning the notion of “Latin American Art” as a construct of the Western art canon.

Which Latin America?

Never stop questioning the notion of “Latin American Art” as a construct of the Western art canon, that yet again follows the colonial expectations of a South meant to satisfy the Liberal fantasy of a multicultural world that overlooks the violence that lies under that term of perpetual contradiction.

“Even the notions of Latin America and Iberoamerica have always been very problematic. Do they include the English-speaking Caribbean and the Dutch-speaking Caribbean? The Chicanos? Do they cover indigenous peoples who sometimes do not even speak European languages? If we recognize the latter as Latin Americans, why not do it with the indigenous peoples in the Rio Grande? What we call Latin America is part of the West or of the Non-West? Does it contradict both, highlighting the schematism of such notions?”
Gerardo Mosquera, “Contra el arte latinoamericano”, UNAM-Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas, n.d., 20.

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Nunca dejar de cuestionar la noción de “Arte latinoamericano” como una construcción del cánon del arte occidental, que una vez más sigue las expectativas coloniales de un Sur destinado a satisfacer la fantasía liberal de un mundo multicultural que pasa por alto la violencia que subyace en dicho término de contradicción perpetua.

“Aún las nociones mismas de América Latina e Iberoamérica siempre han sido muy problemáticas. ¿Incluyen al Caribe anglófono y al holandés? ¿A los chicanos? ¿Abarcan a los pueblos indígenas que a veces ni hablan lenguas europeas? Si reconocemos a estos últimos como latinoamericanos, ¿por qué no hacerlo con los pueblos indígenas al norte del Río Grande? ¿Lo que llamamos América Latina forma parte de Occidente o de No Occidente? ¿Acaso contradice a ambos, resaltando el esquematismo de tales nociones?”
Gerardo Mosquera, “Contra el arte latinoamericano”, UNAM-Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas, s.f., 20.

by Diego del Valle RíosOctober 9, 2019 12 videos • 1:54:14 total runtime

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