"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."
Use the following questions and related media as a way to initiate dialogue about contemporary art and specific ideas related to where art is seen, how it is made, and who makes it. Related images and video segments should inspire a variety of responses and provoke new ways of thinking about possible answers.
In addition to museums and galleries, what are other venues for exhibiting art? How does the location or context of a work of art affect its meaning?
"To some degree, we could say that most cities are populated by traumatized survivors and historic monuments that are witnessing conflicts and problems. I realized that there is one place in Boston, where those two are extremely close to each other—that the Revolutionary War monument on Bunker Hill somehow connected with the daily struggle and battleground of Charlestown residents living in the shadow of that monument—where, on a weekly or monthly basis, someone was murdered, killed, or executed."
"[The building's surface is] a very important protective layer that separates the overly confessional aspect of the speech of those who animate the building and our overly empathetic approach towards the speakers. So, that creates a distance, which is important for thinking—for recognizing that between them and us, there is a wall. Any attempt to identify with the person is a danger. To say, 'I understand what you went through,' is the most unacceptable response. The opposite may be more appropriate: 'I will never understand what you went through.'"
- On Contemporary Art
- Contemporary Art in Context
- Starting the Conversation
- Why is art important?
- What makes something a work of art?
- What is the role of the artist?
- Who decides what a work of art means?
- What are the most important skills an artist can have?
- What materials and tools do artists use to create art today?
- What distinguishes visual art from other forms of visual communication?
- Where do artists find inspiration?
- What is the difference between working alone and collaborating?
- What are other venues for exhibiting art?
- What are the subjects, issues, and themes important to artists working today?
- What role does beauty play in contemporary art?
- Does contemporary art have a purpose, a role, or a responsibility?
- Contemporary Approaches to Teaching
- Using Art21 Media in the Classroom
- Connecting to the National Standards
- Selections from the Art21 Blog
- Materials for Teaching