NIU School of Art Partners with ART:21

The NIU School of Art, in partnership with Art21, Inc. as part of its Art21 Access ’09 initiative, presents a sneak preview of the fifth season of Art:21—Art in the Twenty-First Century, the only prime time national television series focused exclusively on contemporary art. Viewings will take place on October 7, 14, 21 and 28 at the Jack Arends Building in Room 100 at 9:00 p.m. This international event coincides with NIU’s ARTLAB theme “Thinking Globally," a year of research, dialogue, programming and pedagogy focusing on the impact of globalization on the production and perception of cultural meaning. This event is free and open to the public.

The following episodes will be screened:
OCTOBER 7, 2009
Episode 1: Compassion
This episode features artists whose works explore the possibility of understanding and reconciling past and present, while exposing injustice and expressing tolerance for others. William Kentridge, Carrie Mae Weems and Doris Salcedo are featured.

OCTOBER 14, 2009
Episode 2: Fantasy
Fantasy presents four artists whose works or personal stories transport viewers to imaginary worlds and altered states of consciousness. With works that seem at times hallucinatory, irreverent, and sublime, each of these artists pursues a vision first held in the mind’s eye. Jeff Koons, Mary Heilmann, Florian Maier-Aichen and Cao Fei are featured.

OCTOBER 21, 2009
Episode 3: Transformation
Whether observing and satirizing society or reinventing icons of literature, art history, and popular culture, the artists featured in Transformation capture the sensibilities of our age while at times inhabiting the characters they have created. Yinka Shonibare MBE, Cindy Sherman and Paul McCarthy are featured.

OCTOBER 27, 2009
Episode 4: Systems
Artists invent new processes to convey the attitudes of today’s supercharged, information-based society, examining why we find comfort in some systems while rebelling against others. Systems features artists who realize complex projects through acts of appropriation or accumulation. In some instances, they create projects vast in scope, which almost elude comprehension. Julie Mehretu, John Baldessari, Kimsooja and Allan McCollum are featured.

About ArtLab
ArtLab is an extension of Northern Illinois University’s School of Art with a focus on the collaborative: working across disciplines to investigate contemporary currents in—and intersections between—art and culture. As an active think-tank or incubator, ArtLab builds research, dialogue, programming, and pedagogy around a yearly theme, working towards public presentation of collective research across the NIU campus and in conjunction with partner institutions.

Over the past ten years, Art21 has established itself as the preeminent chronicler of contemporary art and artists through its Peabody Award-winning biennial television series Art:21—Art in the Twenty-First Century. The organization has used the power of digital media to expose millions of people of all ages to contemporary art and artists and has created a new paradigm for teaching and learning about the creative process.

In addition to its PBS series and year-round series-based education and public programs efforts, Art21 has expanded its film production and educational efforts in recent years. Several new initiatives have been launched in the past year, including the premiere of the new short-format documentary series Art21–Exclusive on multiple online platforms and expansion of the Art21 Blog. New programs are also in the works, including a feature film as well as Art21 Educators, an ongoing professional development program for teachers.

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