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While sprawling Los Angeles has world-class museums and art schools, artists working in the shadow of the entertainment industry are more “under the radar,” affording them the space and time to imagine.More information and credits
Executive Producer: Eve Moros Ortega. Host: Claire Danes: Director: Deborah Dickson. Producer & Structure Consultant: Véronique Bernard. Editor: Mary Ann Toman. Art21 Executive Director: Tina Kukielski. Curator: Wesley Miller. Director of Production: Nick Ravich. Associate Producer: Ian Forster. Director of Photography: Scott Anger. Additional Photography: Ulli Bonnekamp, Steve Delahoyde, Rob Humphreys, Tom Hurwitz, Robert Muratore, & Gordon Spooner. Assistant Camera: Seana Carroll, Chad Herschberger, Agnes Jeanneau, Sean Prange, & Nancy Serna. Sound: Chad Herschberger, Kathryn Korniloff, Peter Miller, & Theresa Radka. Denver Field Producer: Sarah Wambold. Aspen Production Assistant: Jessica Parsons.
Title/Motion Design: Afternoon Inc. Composer: Joel Pickard. Online Editor: Don Wyllie. Re-Recording Mix: Tony Pipitone. Sound Edit: Neil Cedar & Jay Fisher. Artwork Animation: Anita H.M. Yu. Assistant Editor: Maria Habib, Leana Siochi, Christina Stiles, & Bahron Thomas.
Host Introduction | Creative Consultant: Tucker Gates. Director of Photography: Pete Konczal. Second Camera: Jon Cooper. Key Grip: Chris Wiesehahn. Gaffer: Jesse Newton. First Assistant Camera: Sara Boardman & Shane Duckworth. Sound: James Tate. Set Dresser: Jess Coles. Hair: Peter Butler. Makeup: Matin. Production Assistant: Agatha Lewandowski & Melanie McLean. Editor: Ilya Chaiken.
Additional Music | “Animals Posing”: Performed by Los Tres Pericos; Written by Mason and Mackenzie; 2M Recordings 2015. “One Duppy Two Duppy Three Duppy” by Natural Numbers; Produced by Tom Chasteen; Courtesy of Stones Throw Records.
Artworks Courtesy of: Edgar Arceneaux; Liz Larner; Tala Madani; Diana Thater; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery; Pilar Corrias; General Services Administration; David Kordansky Gallery; Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA); The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Performa; Regen Projects; University of California, San Francisco; Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects; David Zwirner.
Special Thanks: The Art21 Board of Trustees; 3LD Art and Technology Center; Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles; Michael Aglion; Angeles National Forest and San Gabriel National Monument; Zora Arceneaux; Art Center College of Design; The Art Institute of Chicago; Aspen Art Museum; CalArts Center for New Performance; Pat Casteel; Tom Chasteen; City of Los Angeles Recreation and Parks; Dub Club; Christina Faist; Film L.A.; Forest Service, U.S.D.A.; Griffith Observatory; The Hammer Museum at UCLA; Hollyhock House; Jenette Kahn; Christine Kim; Sheila Lynch; T. Kelly Mason; Mona Bismarck American Center; Mount Wilson Observatory; Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles; Sascha Robinett; Diana Salier; Keith Shapiro; The Theatre at Ace Hotel; Watts Towers of Simon Rodia State Historic Park; Erin Wright; & Steve Wylie.
Additional Art21 Staff: Maggie Albert; Lindsey Davis; Joe Fusaro; Jessica Hamlin; Jonathan Munar; Bruno Nouril; Pauline Noyes; Kerri Schlottman; & Diane Vivona.
Public Relations: Cultural Counsel. Station Relations: De Shields Associates, Inc. Legal Counsel: Albert Gottesman.
Dedicated To: Susan Sollins, Art21 Founder.
Through the Art21 Translation Project, multilingual audiences from around the globe can contribute translations, making Art21 films more accessible worldwide.
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Diana Thater makes video installations that poetically grapple with threats to the natural world, from the extinction of species to long-lasting environmental disasters such as the nuclear fallout of Chernobyl. Many of the artist’s works take the space where people and animals meet as their subject, exploring the experiences of wild gorillas in a Cameroon park, a wolf trained to work in Hollywood films, a monkey-inhabited temple in India, and zebras at an exotic animal farm. Adopting cyclical time signatures and extended durations, Thater’s ambient works are abstractions of time which diverge from the linear narratives humans use to make sense of themselves and the cosmos.
Edgar Arceneaux investigates historical patterns through drawings, installations, and multimedia events. In the artist’s work, linear logic is abandoned in favor of wordplay and visual associations, revealing how language, technology, and systems of ordering produce reality as much as describe them. Seemingly disparate elements—such as science fiction, civil rights era speeches, techno music, and the crumbling architecture of Detroit—find a new synchronicity in the artist’s hands, ultimately pointing to larger historical forces such as the rise of the surveillance state.
Tala Madani skewers stereotypes in her sharply satirical paintings that evoke clashes of culture: men and women, the rational and the absurd, Western and non-Western. Madani’s figurative paintings often feature a riotous cast of middle-aged men, balding and stocky, whose libidinal mayhem wreaks havoc on any situation the artist thrusts them into. Acerbic caricatures of both machismo and a childlike desire for mischief, the physical comedy at work in Madani’s paintings is anchored by intense pleasures, pathos, and a pervasive sense of violence. Madani’s pictures are also transformed into stop-motion animations where the artist photographs a freshly created scene over time—wet paint still glistening—resulting in stories of small calamities that are once hilarious, tender, and ghoulish.
Liz Larner experiments with abstract sculptural forms in a dizzying array of materials, including polychromatic ceramics that evoke the tectonic geologic shifts of the western landscape. An inventor of new forms, Larner’s sculptures are not easy to categorize. They defy easy description by design, such as the geometric sculpture of a cube turning into a sphere that is both yet neither, or a complex chain of linked metal rings that never tangles and can also be worn as jewelry. Working with both analog and digital tools, Larner’s materials change from work to work and can include fiberglass, crystals, paper, clay, aluminum, steel, rubber, epoxy, mirror, cloth, and even bacteria. As daring as her investigation into new forms can be, Larner’s sculptures are approachable in their human scale and idiosyncratic vision that favors personal narrative over minimal austerity.
“You have to find the things that