(Time remaining: )
Play from beginning
How do artists make the invisible visible? What hidden elements persist in their work? Is it the artist’s role to reveal them, or not?
In this episode, artists share some of the secrets that are intrinsic to their work.More information
Through the Art21 Translation Project, multilingual audiences from around the globe can contribute translations, making Art21 films more accessible worldwide.
Interested in showing this film in an exhibition or public screening? To license this video please visit Licensing & Reproduction.
Stay inspired this summer with Summer of Shorts, featuring ten new films premiering across ten consecutive Fridays throughout the summer.
Arlene Shechet employs an experimental approach to ceramic sculpture—she tests the limits of gravity, color, and texture by pushing against the boundary of classical techniques, sometimes fusing her kiln-fired creations with complex plinths formed of wood, steel, and concrete. Variously sensual, humorous, and elegant, her clay-based vessels evoke the tension between control and chaos, beauty and ugliness, perfection and imperfection. Considering herself an installation artist who happens to make objects, Shechet focuses intently on ensuring that the display, sight lines, and relationships of the objects in her exhibitions change with every view while maintaining formal equilibrium.
Elliott Hundley draws inspiration for his paintings from diverse sources, but especially from his Southern heritage, steeped in family history. Many of his works also contain references to Greek tragedy and classical mythology, and to Japanese woodblock prints. He also stages improvisational photo shoots to generate imagery for his multi-panel tableaus, casting friends and family in roles from antiquity and various other sources. With these and other images anchored by thousands of pins to bulletin-board-like surfaces, his shallow reliefs form a palimpsest that teems with humble materials such as cut-up magazines, string, plastic, gold leaf, and other ephemera.
Trained as a geographer and photographer, Trevor Paglen makes the invisible visible by documenting the American surveillance state of the 21st century. He photographs distant military facilities, capturing extreme telephoto images of stealth drones; and turning his vision to the night sky, he traces the paths of information-gathering satellites. Mapping the ways in which the convergence of aesthetics, industrial design, and politics influence how we see and understand the world, he shows us images that go beyond straightforward journalistic documentation, giving voice to shifting ideas of the landscape of the American West, humankind’s place in the cosmos, and the surveillance state.