BSA Film Friday: 03.31.23

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Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.

Now screening:
1. Minerva Cuevas in “Mexico City” – Season 8 / Art21

2. Nick Cave in “Chicago” – Season 8 / Art21

3. Damián Ortega in “Mexico City” – Season 8 / Art21

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BSA Special Feature: Mexico City and Chicago Artists in Their Own Words Via Art 21

Today’s edition of BSA Film Friday presents three short films from ART21/Artists in Their Own Words Series, “Art in the Twenty-First Century.” Two artists from Mexico City, Minerva Cuevas, and Damian Ortega, and one artist from Chicago, Nick Cave, tell us about their work, how they come around to it, how they understand it and execute it. The series illustrates well how artists often find the inspiration to continue doing their craft and to stay true to their philosophy and core principles.

Minerva Cuevas in “Mexico City” – Season 8 / Art21

Minerva Cuevas is a socially conscious artist who uses her work to respond to political events and spark change, in sometimes idiosyncratic ways. Her art includes sculptures and paintings that bring attention to issues like world hunger and the negative impact humans have on animals and the environment. She also creates mini-sabotages, like altering grocery store bar codes and making student IDs, to support her non-profit organization, Better Life Corporation. Through her art and activism, Cuevas is mapping out resistance and promoting a world where all living beings are valued.

Nick Caves in “Chicago” – Season 8 / Art21

Here’s Nick Cave – not the musician, but the artist who creates unique sculptures called “Soundsuits.” These suits began as a response to the Rodney King beatings, but have now become a tool for empowerment in ways beyond what he may have imagined. The suits completely cover the body and are designed to obscure the wearer’s race, gender, and class, allowing people to see the suit without any bias toward the person inside. Nick Cave himself often performs in the suits in front of a live audience – or for the camera. They are more than just costumes – they also become musical instruments and symbols of living art; including assemblages of found objects that project out from the wall, and installations that fill entire rooms.

Damián Ortega in “Mexico City” – Season 8 / Art21

Damián Ortega creates amazing sculptures using objects from his everyday life, including things like Volkswagen Beetle cars, Day of the Dead posters, and locally sourced corn tortillas. Arranging these objects in precise ways, often suspended from the ceiling or part of a mechanical system, Ortega creates sculptures that look like diagrams, solar systems, words, buildings, and even faces. The stories are mythic, in cosmic scale – and told through performance, sculpture, and film.