Segments in this Video

Introduction: Play (01:15)


Grant Hill, professional basketball player, introduces the topic of this art21 film, play.

Jessica Stockholder: Intuitive Thinking (03:35)

Stockholder defines her work as deceptively simple. She's reluctant to make minimal, controlled pieces and enjoys the chaos of her work. Intuition is a way of thinking Stockholder embraces regardless of associated discomfort.

Jessica Stockholder: Non-verbal Art (02:31)

Stockholder transforms plastic, a cheap and easily accessible material, to engage the discussion of production. Her work is "as non-verbal as you can get" in response to a childhood filled with dialogue.

Jessica Stockholder: Studio Play (03:22)

Stockholder creates an installation based on studio elements and available materials. Refrigerators and freezers are common objects used in her work, symbolizing the duality of love and coldness.

Jessica Stockholder: Geometry of Structures (01:46)

Stockholder is interested in systems and how structures are geometrically organized. Her work is about "posing this possibility for some other experience/world then the one we experience as mundane."

Jessica Stockholder: Ancient Technique of Play (00:51)

While it's not easy to make, Stockholder's work is about pleasure. Play is a way of learning and thinking without a predetermined objective; it's an ancient technique.

Ellen Gallagher: Bridging Labor and Joy (02:20)

Gallagher discusses the difficulty of "non-creators" seeing the connection between labor and joy. She extends her experience in bridge building to her contemporary work with lattice structures.

Ellen Gallagher: Art from Advertisement (03:01)

Using vintage advertisements, Gallagher explores identity and entertainment. She reorganizes ads to create a spatial reading for her viewer. Gallagher uses reoccurring characters to illustrate a sense of presence the body creates.

Ellen Gallagher: Species Cabinet (01:54)

Travels to Cuban and Senegal inspired Gallagher's work in the "Species Cabinet." These pieces are made by scratching or carving directly into paper. Gallagher and her family arrived to America on a whaling ship, inspiring her use of water symbolism.

Ellen Gallagher: Play with FIlm (01:38)

Gallagher sees film as the projection of an image in space and time, that disappears when the next image appears. She creates pieces encompassing "their own stage."

Ellen Gallagher: Reconstructing Isaac Hayes (03:33)

Gallagher's work consists of layers producing texture and depth. Repetition, revision, and recoveries are central to her process. Gallagher captures nostalgia, an attempt to "hold a moment still," in her pieces.

Arturo Herrera: Accessibility of Collaging (03:33)

With little space and no money, Herrera began collaging. He transforms easily recognizable objects into simple shapes and color. Herrera enjoys forcing together desperate, clearly defined pictures into one abstract product.

Arturo Herrera: Joys of Reflection (04:41)

Herrera's explores his identity, comprised of various cultures, in his collages. As a Latin American, he is reluctant to distinguish between high and low culture. Moving to Berlin from New York, Herrera enjoys more reflection time.

Arturo Herrera: Wall Painting (04:33)

When creating a wall image, Herrera takes into account the environment of the wall. Herrera faces an interesting challenge developing a piece for a dissected space with unusual elements.

Oliver Herring: Joy of Clarity (03:13)

Herring likes to "boil things down to an essence," attributing this to his crude communication when first learning English. He spent ten years knitting to create a performance piece on the essence of time.

Oliver Herring: Capturing the Process (02:38)

Herring explores his feelings and fantasies while monotonously knitting in his early videos, featuring people willing to sacrifice time. He cares little about the medium and object, but cares deeply about the process.

Oliver Herring: Vulnerability in Giving (02:47)

Herring captures the intimacy of process based on the uniqueness of the task, participants must give a part of themselves. He patiently attends to moments of vulnerability.

Oliver Herring: Improvisation due to Limitation (03:25)

Herring improvises his work after experiencing physical limitations due to a slipped disk. "Most people are more unusual and complicated and eccentric and playful and creative than they have the time to express."

Credits: Play (03:18)

Credits: Play

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Play: Art 21—Art in the Twenty-First Century (Season 3)

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



Spontaneous, funny or subversive, play can take many forms. The artists in this episode - Jessica Stockholder, Ellen Gallagher, Arturo Herrera and Oliver Herring - improvise games, draw inspiration from dance and music, and employ color, pattern and movement to induce delight. The hour concludes with an original piece of video art by Teresa Hubbard/Alexander Birchler, a meditation on the idea of play. Grant Hill hosts. Distributed by PBS Distribution  

Length: 56 minutes

Item#: BVL93413

Copyright date: ©2005

Closed Captioned

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