ART 21 Screening and Talk Back at the Little Theatre

Wed, 04/11/2012 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm

Join WXXI and the Little Theatre for a free screening of a film that asks “how do artists act as agents of change?” followed by a talk back. 

From the PBS series that focuses exclusively on contemporary art and artists, Art 21: Change, introduces us to Ai Weiwei, Catherine Opie, and El Anatsui – three artists who bear witness, through their work, to transformation—cultural, material, and aesthetic—and actively engage communities as collaborators and subjects.

Immediately following the screening, at 7:30 p.m., WXXI and the Little will host a talk back with Jason Bernagozzi, video and new media artist from RoCo; Sarah C. Rutherford, fine artist and illustrator from 1975 Gallery; and Allen C. Topolski, Chair of the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Rochester.

More about the film:
In what ways do artists act as agents of change, and what kinds of aesthetic choices do they make to express it? This episode features artists who bear witness, through their work, to transformation—cultural, material, and aesthetic—and actively engage communities as collaborators and subjects.

Ai Weiwei infuses his sculptures, photographs, and public artworks with personal poetry and political conviction, often making use of recognizable and historic Chinese art forms in critical examinations of a host of contemporary Chinese social and political issues. In sculptures of clay, wood, and metal El Anatsui uses and explores materials and formal elements that relate to his aesthetic and cultural environment, exemplifying change and revealing the eternal cycle of all things—destruction, transformation, and regeneration. Catherine Opie investigates the ways in which photographs both document and give voice to social phenomena in America today. Working between conceptual and documentary approaches to image making, she examines the familiar genres of portraiture, landscape, and studio photography in surprising uses of serial images, unexpected compositions, and the pursuit of radically different subject matters.

More about the speakers:
Jason Bernagozzi is a video and new media artist living and working in Rochester, NY. Central to his artistic practice is a desire to investigate and experiment with the significant features of time-based media as an evolving world language. Video, sound, and other electronic forms allow him to work out ideas as a real-time process that reflects the impermanent relationships between knowledge and dialogue. Through this palette he makes single channel video and electronic media environments whose flowing forms provoke and modulate viewer expectations while addressing concepts concerning the liminal states of language, memory, and perceptual experience.

Sarah C. Rutherford currently resides in Rochester, NY, working primarily with figurative painting and drawing.  As a 2006 fine arts graduate of the University of Vermont, she has spent the past five years finding her place in the art world.  During this time she was awarded two fellowships at the Vermont Studio Center, lived in New York City and now has become an active member of the Rochester art community, initiating “Sweet Meat Co.”, a cooperative of local emerging artists.

Allen C. Topolski is Chair of the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Rochester. He has an MFA in Sculpture from Pennsylvania State University.

Special thanks to: The Memorial Art Gallery, RoCo, and 1975 Gallery

This event is made possible with a mini-grant award from Art21. It is part of Art21 Access '12, a celebration of contemporary art and creativity at hundreds museums, schools, libraries, art spaces, and community centers.

ART IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY is a PBS series that focuses exclusively on contemporary art and artists. Through in-depth profiles and interviews, the series reveals the inspiration, vision, and techniques behind the creative works of some of the most accomplished contemporary artists.