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Identities & Inequalities & the Arts. access to careers in the arts arts activism tastes and status, class distinctions of art publics (later). The Arts & Identity Issues of Art World participants. Identity issues for participants Labeling (who is considered an “artist”?)

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identities inequalities the arts

Identities & Inequalities & the Arts

access to careers in the arts

arts activism

tastes and status, class distinctions of art publics (later)

the arts identity issues of art world participants
The Arts & Identity Issues of Art World participants
  • Identity issues for participants
    • Labeling (who is considered an “artist”?)
    • “representations” of identities in art (ex. ambivalence in artists’ discourse, presentation of self)
    • status distinctions (within & between art worlds)
      • symbolic boundaries
      • material constraints
    • biases & values imbedded in practices & institutions
    • participation of minorities & the dispossessed in art worlds
discriminatory dimensions of artistic practices institutions
Discriminatory Dimensions of Artistic Practices & Institutions
  • “Institutionalized” sexism & racism
  • Gender, sexuality, race/ethnicity, religion, national affiliations, geography
  • Tensions between artistic ‘freedom’ and socio-cultural conventions
recall the triple game of contemporary art
Recall: the “triple game” of contemporary art
  • Sociologist Nathalie Heinich’s theory of how the arts push the boundaries of what is acceptable
    • Transgression (of norms, tastes & values by artists)
    • Rejection (of artworks by publics)
    • integration (of new art endowed with the critical acclaim of art world insiders)
  • Theory that contemporary artists must push Boundaries pertaining to aesthetic values & other socio-cultural values ( by Robert Mapplethorpe)
examples of critical discourse analysis of women in the arts
Examples of Critical Discourse Analysis of Women in the Arts:
  • DeNora on Performing gender in history of piano performance
  • Guerilla Girls--
    • Aim of exposing hegemony of white males of European heritage in contemporary Art Worlds
kong and faye wray
Kong and Faye Wray
  • Beauty & the beast imagery
  • Plus word play (Guerrillas as underground fighters too)
Another approach to resisting hegemonic restrictions on participation in art worlds: Studies of “exceptions” (success stories)

Jacob Lawrence, Ironers 1943.

rewriting the canon
Rewriting the “canon”
  • Germaine Greer The Obstacle Race. The Fortunes of women Painters and their work, 1979
  • Ex. Marcia Tucker et al. Out there. Marginalization and Contemporary cultures New Museum of Contemporary Art, 1992.
  • Griselda Pollock Differencing the Canon-- Feminist Desire and the Writing of Art’s Histories, routledge, 1999
  • Boim, Albert. The Art of Exclusion. Representing blacks in the nineteenth Centuryk, Smithsonian 1990
  • Trinh T. Minh-ha, Cornell West etc.
teaching the arts as a form of action research communication
Teaching the Arts as a form of ‘action research’ & communication


Video clip


artistic activities for social change
Artistic Activities for Social Change
  • Artists as members of social/cultural “avant garde”—
    • anticipate social change
    • provoke resistance (ex. anti-war, AIV AIDS benefits etc.)
    • inspire trends (ex. fashions)
    • support charitable causes (ex. AIDS activism)
    • provide leadership
    • But-- critics sometimes doubt sincerity
    • Recall- spoof of artists’ pleas for African aid
artistic practice as social action samuel mockbee s architecture of decency rural studio
Artistic Practice as Social Action: Samuel Mockbee’s “Architecture of Decency”—Rural Studio
  • Architecture students in Alabama work on buildings for rural poor: homes, children’s centre, marketplace, sports facilities
  • “sustainable” architecture, social welfare, practical experience
mason s bend
Mason’s Bend
  • Small, very poor rural community living in makeshift housing
links between social conscience high culture aesthetics
Links between social conscience & high culture aesthetics
  • Modernism/postmodernism
    • High tech materials & tastes but “low tech” & low cost building solutions
    • Interaction with clients & feedback from them
    • Community-based projects
    • Note references to architectural traditions in introduction
judith levine theatre for the forgotten
Judith Levine: Theatre for the Forgotten
  • Theatre in prisons & with “social outcasts”
  • Benevolence & art– different than “art for arts sake”
  • Historic example: Beckett’s End Game
theatre for the forgotten
Theatre for the Forgotten
  • Funding issues:
    • Volunteers at the beginning
    • Touring inmates as part of theatre
    • Money for “training”, for arts diffusion
    • Funding for social support (education, employment readiness, counselling components)
    • change in emphasis– theatre professionals replaced by social workers & arts therapists
    • In 1970s– end of growth of guerrilla theatre movements
  • Arts for art sake vs. arts as social-political action
  • Arts as “normative” (teaching shared values)– like debates about the arts & citizenship
  • Using other funding as a pretext to fund the arts
  • Use of arts funding for social programmes
  • Definition about what is art?
  • who can teach the arts?
impact of arts as social service
Impact of Arts as Social Service
  • Organizational identity
  • Survival strategies
  • Changes to the actual way in which the art is done
  • Other types of activist theatre: ex. Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed
gran fury and aids activism
Gran Fury and AIDS activism
  • Gran Fury– name for an artists’ collective (1988-1992)
  • AIDS awareness
    • public advertisement campaign (silence=death)
    • Article about Quebec campaign
political art and action
Political Art and Action,
  • Grand Fury--Against indifference to AIDS & against homophobia
  • Link to images of work
  • But did not do <homework> in Quebec context (health coverage better there than in US, language differences)
artistic work consciousness raising recognition processes
Artistic work, Consciousness-raising & Recognition Processes

Filmmaker Sylvia Hamilton’s work about African Canadian experiences

Film screening of The Little Black Schoolhouse and talk by Dr. Hamilton

note to users of these outlines
Note to Users of these Outlines--
  • not all material covered in class appears on these outlines-- important examples, demonstrations and discussions aren’t written down here.
  • Classes are efficient ways communicating information and provide you will an opportunity for regular learning. These outlines are provided as a study aid not a replacement for classes.