Playlists

How are artists answering the question: What is America today? Historical markers continue to shape the discourse of the new-normal and artists are responding with powerful works that are representative of the times. This playlist showcases how artists are responding to the dynamic nature of the United States and its parallels.

America Now

Art is inherently contradictory; “it’s nature is to ask questions,” says Edgar Arceneaux. Given that, how are artists answering the question: What is America today? Recent years in the United States have proven to be tumultuous, and yet as these historical markers continue to shape the discourse of the new-normal, artists are responding with powerful works that are representative of the times. “The discomfort of being a person living and working in the United States is a place where these paintings were being made from,” explains Julie Mehretu.

This playlist showcases how artists are responding to the dynamic nature of the United States and its parallels. Unpacking colonial histories, reinterpreting news pundits, and celebrating cultural diversity, their work helps paint a picture of a shared American experience, as told from a variety of perspectives. As Raúl de Nieves states, “we don’t want to go back in time, we want to move forward.”

by Art21

December 5, 2018

14 videos • 1:54:49 total runtime

Preview each of the twelve segments from the new season of Art21’s Peabody Award-winning “Art in the Twenty-First Century” series.

First Look: Season 9 of “Art in the Twenty-First Century”

Preview each of the twelve segments from the new season of Art21’s Peabody Award-winning “Art in the Twenty-First Century” series.

Season 9 charts art-making in three urban centers across three continents: Berlin, Johannesburg, and the San Francisco Bay Area. From the post-Cold War cultural and economic rebirth in Berlin, to the dramatic fall of apartheid in South Africa and the technological boom in the Bay Area, the twelve artists and one non-profit art center highlighted in this season respond to the forces that have shaped the places where they live and work, while pursuing their personal visions for a better future.

The new season premieres September 21, 2018 on PBS.

by Art21

September 17, 2018

12 videos • 15:41 total runtime

In the first season of Art in the Twenty-First Century, we examined how artists respond to the concept of consumption—of images, information, objects, and land. This playlist begins with the five artists who were featured in our original Consumption episode, followed by ten additional artist perspectives on how we consume the world around us.

Consumption Revisited

In the first season of Art in the Twenty-First Century, we examined how artists respond to the concept of consumption—of images, information, objects, and land. Over the past 21 years, our films have continued to explore how artists approach this theme, broadening the scope of voices and investigating new forms of consumption introduced by emerging trends such as the rise of social media and the evolution of advertising tactics.

“We spend our whole lives training to understand movies and television and video games and clothes and beds and houses,” writes curator Katy Siegel in her essay for the Art in the Twenty-First Century Season 1 companion book. “And so contemporary art often invokes these experiences and objects; art often looks like a commodity, because in a consumer culture, nothing could be more essential.” This playlist begins with the five artists who were featured in our original Consumption episode, followed by ten additional artist perspectives on how we consume the world around us.

by Art21

May 15, 2018

15 videos • 1:58:48 total runtime

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