Art geek and award-winning direc-tor Ben Lewis directs, presents and works as sound recordist and occasional artist’s assistant in this low-fi series, while his best friend (fortunately an award-winning documentary cameraman) follows him with his DV camera. The re-sults are arts home movies – close, informal and laidback en-counters with artists unlike any-thing else on television.
In two amazing series Lewis em-barks upon a fascinating journey in the jungle of art as he brings a survey of the world’s most inter-esting, imaginative, intelligent and insane contemporary artists such as:
Matthew Barney, Gregor Schnei-der, Mauritzio Cattelan, Takashi Murakami, Wim Delvoye, Sophie Calle and Santiago Sierra.
Art Safari 1 + 2 give the viewers a new generation of international, contemporary artists in films which are both analytical adven-tures and adventurous analyses.
Art Safari 1
The most celebrated American artist of the moment, Matthew Barney, makes art on a Hollywood scale with videos, sculptures, photographs and drawings.
Cattelan is the court jester of the art world and the cartoonist of Conceptualism. Denied permission to meet and interview the artist, Ben brings Cattelan’s sculptures to life and sends them on missions to put questions to the artist and his doubles.
Convinced that Schneider’s kind of art can only be explained by a ter-rible childhood trauma, Ben tries to persuade him to talk about his past, but the artist perceives his work within a rather more theo-retical-conceptual framework…
In the nineties a new global art movement evolved, interpreted by Nicolas Bourriaud as ‘Relational Art’. Armed with Bourriaud’s book Ben goes in search of what might be a new ‘ism’. But trouble lies ahead: many of the artists refuse to be related to ‘Relational Art’…
Art Safari 2
Murakami is Japan’s most suc-cessful contemporary artist. His art looks superficial and commer-cialised but Ben goes to Tokyo and discovers that behind it lies a the-ory about the history of Post-War Japan.
Belgian Delvoye is the world’s rud-est artist and is behind the most notorious contemporary work of art, ‘Cloaca’. Ben sets off to test the realism of Delvoye’s work in all kinds of ways.
Calle gives Ben permission to make a film about her on one condition: he has to think up a ritual or set of rules for her to follow. After many unsuccessful attempts Ben real-izes that the ritual of rejection is the set of rules he wanted Calle to follow.
Sierra is the world’s most radical living artist. Ben follows him across the world to try to find out how Sierra manages to get away with such confrontational works of art.