Art21 Video: Boundaries

Elissa Buchalter

I recently just watched the Art 21 Video on PBS titled “Boundaries”.  This particular Art21 video is about the kinds of boundaries artists face everyday.  For example, mediums used, how cultural differences affect viewing of art and the main question of what limits our freedom of expression.  One of the artists that this video profiled was David Altmejd.  David is a sculpture artist who utilizes mold making/casting, plaster, Plexiglas and wood.  He doesn’t like to make sketches of his sculptures and is a process-based artist.  He states that he doesn’t do drawings because he finds other materials to be more interesting to him personally.  Altmejd would rather just start gluing and cutting rather than sitting there trying to transcribe a 3D object onto a 2D surface.  In this video, Altmeid talks about how he has to “trust the material” in order to create.  He states that the “material behaves in unpredictable ways” which is why he tries to just provide the structure to his sculptures.  I found this to be interesting, because it’s almost as if he is unlocking the potential of the material.

Altmejd explores the boundaries and ideas of sculpture making by creating opposites.  He tries to flip traditional ideas when creating his art.  For example, he likes to use representational objects in order to create a larger abstraction.  This is opposite of what we are used to, because usually when one gets closer to an art piece it become more abstract, not the other way around.  Another way David achieves this opposite thinking is by creating holes in his figurative pieces.  He acknowledges that many would view a hole in the center of a person as death, but he sees it as “injecting an energy into” the object.  Overall, I think this is a great Art21 video and would definitely recommend any of you to check out the other videos available for viewing.

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