Podcasts and visual arts: when artists talk to each other

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Who better to talk about art than those who directly participate in its creation on a daily basis?

While podcasts presented by curators or art historians are legion, visual artists are increasingly using the format to tell their own stories. We take a closer look.

“Over the years, I have thought a lot about history and how art can make the invisible visible. With these words, spoken in the first episode of the “Artists Among Us” podcast series, Carrie Mae Weems sets the tone. In this podcast launched by the Whitney Museum of American Art, the African-American artist and the podcast team “examine the complexities and contradictions that have culminated in the United States we live in today”. So far, Carrie Mae Weems has spoken with over 30 historians, authors and artists to decipher the impact of David Hammons’ sculpture Day’s End on the space occupied by the Whitney Museum.

In the opinion of Anne Byrd, director of interpretation and research for the American museum, the podcast needed an artist as recognized as Carrie Mae Weems to lead it. “Weems turned out to be the perfect host for the podcast as she was able to frame the dialogue between the artwork and the site’s story in a way that was both engaging and informative,” he said. she explained to The arts journal.

Bring different voices to the fore

For its part, the Rubin Museum of Art has asked performer and musician Laurie Anderson to host its latest podcast. Inspired by the exhibition “Awaken: a Tibetan Buddhist Journey Toward Enlightenment”, “AWAKEN” invites various guests to talk about the personal transformation they have undertaken in their lives. Among them are actress Aparna Nancherla, author and meditation teacher Tara Brach, doula Latham Thomas and artist Tsherin Sherpa.

“The Enlightenment is a subject at the heart of the Rubin Museum’s collection. It is even the focal point of an entire exhibition currently on display in our galleries, ”explains Dawn Eshelman, program manager at the New York Museum. “With the podcast, we wanted to bring a human scale to the sometimes intimidating concept of enlightenment, with voices from a variety of perspectives – both religious and secular – that offer very different and personal examples of what to do. what awakening can look like. “

Who better to welcome “AWAKEN” than Laurie Anderson? Since the 1970s, the avant-garde interpreter has practiced narrative art through a multitude of artistic mediums. “I was part of a family where you kind of had to talk. We were eight children and we had to say what was going on in our lives, ”she said one day in an interview about her vision of art. “I’m always curious about the mechanics of the story, like who’s telling and I like to play with that.”

Between conversation and confession

More and more artists are following the lead of Carrie Mae Weems and Laurie Anderson and expressing themselves through podcasts. If the phenomenon is not new, the pandemic has helped promote the emergence of audio programs where artists speak freely about their work. This is particularly the case of “Cats with artists in confinement”.

In this conversational podcast, Emma Cousin chats with Jean-Philippe Dordolo, Paloma Proudfoot and Dean Kenning about the impact of Covid-19 on their lives and work. One way to “keep … artists in contact during the strange period of pandemic”, as the London-based artist explains in the first episode of “Cats with artists in confinement”. She and her guests discuss subjects such as the postponement of their exhibitions while the health crisis was in full swing, the fear of the blank page or the return to the creative studio.

This intimate atmosphere is also present in the “Arts to Hearts” podcast where Charuka Arora welcomes artists who inspire her such as Lizzy Taber, Halie Torris, Brandi Hofer and Ekaterinas Popova. They share their experience in the art world and their advice to find a place. A great way to inspire other artists to express themselves.

(Main Image and Featured Image: Ryan Lowry / AFP)

This story was posted via AFP Relaxnews.


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