6 x 50 minutes
DVD (R0, NTSC)
Download (MP4 SD)
State of the Art
‘A documentary extravaganza that will have other TV stations bristling with envy.’ The Face
‘State of the Art is unequivocally bold in its own contemporary approach’ The Listener
Illuminations established its prominence in visual arts programming with this major study of contemporary art.
State of the Art is an exciting, authoritative and challenging series of documentaries about the visual arts in the 1980s. Filmed in Europe, the United States and Australia in 1985-6, the six programmes feature many key artists including Joseph Beuys, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Cindy Sherman, Antony Gormley, Hans Haacke and Eric Fischl. Framing the works and concerns of these artists is the intellectual context of the time, and especially the contemporary concerns of post-modernism. Each film adopts a thematic approach, with episodes looking at History, Value, Imagination, Politics, Sexuality and Identity.
Originally seen on Channel 4 in Britain, and then shown in more than 20 countries, State of the Art has been unavailable since its original broadcast. It is released in this 20th anniversary 2-disc DVD edition with a specially filmed interview with the writer of the series, Sandy Nairne, former Director of London’s National Portrait Gallery.
He considers the unique documentary approaches that the series developed to present art on the screen and reflects on the controversy that the series provoked. A picture gallery of key images is also included.
Episodes also available individually for download
WRITER Sandy Nairne
CAMERA Jeremy Stavenhagen
MUSIC Keith Jarrett
RESEARCHER Linda Zuck
PRODUCTION MANAGER Gina Hobson
EDITORS Stuart Davidson and John Keenan
ASSISTANT PRODUCERS Diane Large and Sandy Nairne
SERIES PRODUCER John Wyver
PRODUCER AND DIRECTOR Geoff Dunlop
Channel 4 with WDR Koln
11 January – 15 February 1987