HANDS-ON: John Baldessari

The following activity ideas can be used to engage audiences in a hands-on approach to processing the ideas presented in the artist's film segment. They were compiled from our Educators' Guides and Screening Toolkits. Activities include not only visual art strategies but writing, research, and other disciplinary methods. Additional resources and strategies for teaching with films and working with contemporary art can be found in Teach.


"Tips for Artists Who Want To Sell," 1966-68. Acrylic on canvas, 68 x 56 1/2 inches. © John Baldessari. Courtesy of Marian Goodman Gallery, New York.


SEGMENT: John Baldessari in "Systems"

Assemble a collection of found or self-made images. Rearrange them in different configurations over the course of a day, week, or month. How do different arrangements and juxtapositions affect the way you see and interpret the images? Take notes on your discoveries, and photograph the different configurations to share with others in an exhibition.

Baldessari talks about text and image as interchangeable forms of language, and he describes the process of making his photomontages as building a poem, not from words but with images. Create a poem out of images and an image out of words, based on a single theme, word, or idea.