"Art making is a form of alchemy, in a way, because you are trying…to make gold from nothing. When it works very well is when you manage to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary."
Who and what limits our freedom of expression? In what ways do cultural differences affect our understanding of art and other forms of communication? How do an artist’s process and choice of medium affect our perception of his or her work? This episode features artists who synthesize disparate aesthetic traditions, present taboo subject matter, discover innovative uses of media, and explore the shape-shifting potential of the human figure.
David Altmejd's sculptures, suffused with ornament, blur distinctions between interior and exterior, surface and structure, representation and abstraction. The collective assume vivid astro focus fuses sculpture, video, drawing, and performance into carnivalesque installations in which gender, politics, and cultural codes float freely. Sculptor Lynda Benglis's radical and pioneering invention of new forms with unorthodox techniques contains within it a reverence for cultural references that trace back to antiquity. Tabaimo's drawings and video installations probe unsettling themes of isolation, contagion, and instability that seem to lurk beneath daily existence in contemporary Japan.