Segments in this Video

Protest Art (03:17)


Nancy Spero discusses a subway station mosaic of dancing figures. She tries to send messages through works such as a series of paintings protesting the Vietnam War.

Artistic Relationship (03:27)

Spero's husband, Leon Golub, influenced her to do political work. She began with tiny figures in response to his large scale canvasses. She discusses an exhibit in Malmo, Sweden.

Severed Head Maypole (03:41)

Spero and her assistants are transforming a two dimensional work from the War Series into a sculpture. She tries to show the insanity of war.

Creative Process (02:17)

Spero "cannibalizes" her work to liberate herself from past projects. She discusses a work completed after her husband died, and reflects on artistic blocks.

Preparation of War (02:33)

Military structures fascinate landscape photographer An-My Lê. She discusses gaining access to exercises with her antique Deardorf camera, and making it work under challenging conditions.

Reconnecting with Vietnam (04:05)

Understanding the meaning of war fuels An-My Lê's work. She discusses photographing her homeland as an adult; she worked with actors to recreate combat scenes.

Photography Process (02:44)

An-My Lê discusses her use of black and white, and color. She shoots landscapes to suggest historical scenes and tries not to use light as a dramatic counterpoint.

Ambiguity of War (03:37)

An-My Lê describes her reaction to the Iraq war. Unable to travel to the Middle East, she photographed training exercises in 29 Palms. She feels empathy for military families and believes war isn't black and white.

Art Blueprints (02:33)

Alfredo Jaar approaches his work as an architect, creating a plan and letting professionals execute projects. His ideas come from researching real events.

"Nduwayezu's Silence" (02:57)

Outraged by genocide, Jaar traveled to Rwanda. He struggled with how to represent subjects; each attempt failed over six years. Finally, he focused on a boy who was rendered mute after witnessing his parents' murder.

"Bushima" (03:37)

Jaar sees exhibitions as vehicles of communication. He reflects on returning to Chile as an artist, and describes his logical way of thinking. View images from a project on Cuba.

"Let One Hundred Flowers Bloom" (03:51)

Jaar's father gave him a magic kit to overcome shyness; he became an actor and playwright. He discusses an installation based on intellectual resistance to Mao's regime and links it to oppression during the Pinochet era.

Political Statements (02:48)

Jenny Holzer keeps public works brief to grab viewer's attention, and wants people to focus on the content, rather than the artist. She discusses working in the Mies van der Rohe building in Berlin.

"Truism" Series (01:57)

Holzer began using text from others in 2001 to better express her ideas. She discusses contributing visual poetry to a piece celebrating New York in the 7 World Trade Center lobby.

Text Projections (01:57)

Holzer projected a poem by Henri Cole onto the Venice police headquarters. She discusses why she highlights ideas on buildings and rivers.

"Redaction Paintings" (03:26)

Holzer asks Cole's opinion on selecting censored U.S. government files for a series. She discusses the creative process and choosing colors to highlight text.

Commenting on Cruelty (02:17)

For her "Redaction" series, Holzer displayed some declassified documents as prints, and others as moving text. She drew inspiration from Goya's Black Paintings to protest U.S. torture practices, and wants viewers to recoil.

Credits: Protest (02:32)

Credits: Protest

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Protest: Art 21—Art in the Twenty-First Century (Season 4)

Part of the Series : Art 21: Art in the Twenty-First Century (Season 4)
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



The "Art in the Twenty-First Century" documentary “Protest” examines the ways in which four artists use their work to picture war, express outrage and empathize with the suffering of others. Politics and the brutality of war underscore many of feminist art pioneer Nancy Spero's paintings. Landscape photographer An-My Lê's black-and-white images examine the impact, representation and meaning of war, as well as the relationship between military activity and the surrounding terrain. Basing his work on research, reflection and response to horrific events, Alfredo Jaar's installations, films and community-based projects communicate a specific experience to his audience, capturing beauty but also confronting horror. Jenny Holzer uses subversive text and poetry to focus on cruelty, devastation, consumerist impulses, death and disease in order to provoke a critical response from the viewer. Distributed by PBS Distributions.

Length: 56 minutes

Item#: BVL93416

Copyright date: ©2007

Closed Captioned

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