Weekly Watchlist: Kameelah Janan Rasheed Embraces Logophilia

October 20, 2021


There’s something magical about archives. Making this piece about Kameelah Janan Rasheed was an exciting challenge, particularly in the midst of COVID and being confined in locations. We turned that into an asset with brilliant cinematography (thanks, Rose!)—really getting into the details of Kameelah’s work and process, which is integral to the art itself.
Kameelah mentioned her love of words extending from her childhood, then casually asked if we wanted to see her first book. That magic of reflecting on her childhood dreams, and seeing the throughline from her teaching to her art practice, was a beautiful moment of discovery for all of us who were crammed into the studio space. It’s wild how there can be a whole world tucked away on a shelf or in a file cabinet—how thumbing through photos can stir up memories, imagination, and lead you down a new way of looking.
Carrie Hawks
Director and Producer, “Kameelah Janan Rasheed: The Edge of Legibility”
October 20, 2021






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The Edge of Legibility

Kameelah Janan Rasheed
New York Close Up


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Five artists explore their artistic inheritances in five new films
From left to right: Kameelah Janan Rasheed, Tanya Aguiñiga, John Akomfrah, Doreen Garner, and Salman Toor. © Art21, Inc. 2021.
In our final programming season of 2021, we are delighted to deliver five new films across our Extended Play and New York Close Up series.
Stream the first release of the new season today.
This season features five artists—Tanya Aguiñiga, John Akomfrah, Doreen Garner, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, and Salman Toor—who each find a place amongst familial and creative lineages.
Tune in for a new premiere every Wednesday through mid-November at 12:00 p.m. ET on Art21.org our YouTube channel.
See the film guide.

Explore: Language and Text
Glenn Ligon in his Brooklyn studio, 2011. Production still from the Art in the Twenty-First Century episode, “History.” © Art21, Inc. 2012.
Employing found or invented grammars, these artists operate within structured systems of mass communication.
Decipher the calligraphy of Xu Bing, become immersed in the text-driven installations of Barbara Kruger, and absorb the literary works referenced by Glenn Ligon in our Language and Text collection.
Explore Language and Text.

Upcoming workshop for educators
Join us on Tuesday, October 26 at 6:00 p.m. ET for the latest installment of our five-part professional development series exploring how artists use the five senses in their practice.
For “The Nose Knows,” take time to breathe in the smell of contemporary art. Whether intentional or a byproduct of a chosen medium, the work of artists such as Kara Walker, Katharina Grosse, and Cai Guo-Qiang engages the olfactory receptors in the nose. In this final session of the five senses series, use memory and imagination to answer the question: What does contemporary art smell like?
This program is free and will take place via Zoom.
Register now.
Visit our education calendar for a list of upcoming workshops for educators.

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As a nonprofit organization, Art21 relies on the generosity of viewers like you to produce engaging films and educational resources on contemporary artists and art.
If you’ve felt inspired by our films, please consider donating today. Your gift will ensure the stories, art, and ideas of some of the most innovative artists of our time continue to reach and inspire viewers worldwide. Thank you for making a difference.