How can art effect political change?

Image courtesy W.A.G.E.

Flash Points

W.A.G.E. Against the Machine

Flash Points

W.A.G.E. Against the Machine

Last September, as part of Creative Time’s Democracy in America: The National Campaign event at the Park Avenue Armory, activist group Working Artists and the Greater Economy (W.A.G.E.) stumped for …

Goshka Macuga's installation at the Whitechapel Art Gallery

Flash Points

Letter from London

Letter from London: Guernica Revisited

Flash Points

Letter from London

Letter from London: Guernica Revisited

It seems impossible now that an institution like the Museum of Modern Art would lend, say, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon or The Red Studio at all, let alone to a small …

Photo by Tasha Doremus

Flash Points

My fellow Americans, let’s roll.

Flash Points

My fellow Americans, let’s roll.

On March 28th, Philadelphia hosted a day-long marathon dialogue on the intersections of art and the possibility of social/political change. The day’s events included a symposium on Curating and Activism …

From L: Martha Wilson, Lorie Mertes, Steve Kurtz, Adam Pendleton, Sharon Hayes, Stamatina Gregory, Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss, and Michael Rakowitz

Flash Points

Curating and Activism at Moore College of Art & Design

Flash Points

Curating and Activism at Moore College of Art & Design

Daniel Fuller, Senior Program Specialist at the Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative, recently helped organize the Curating and Activism symposium at Moore College of Art & Design. The following is a recap …

say-yes-combo

Flash Points

Flash Points: Art+Politics, Looking Back & Moving Forward

Flash Points

Flash Points: Art+Politics, Looking Back & Moving Forward

These last two months have proved to be full of lively posts about the sometimes clear and often nebulous intersection of Art+Politics. Art21’s own Marc Mayer kicked things off when …

Artistic Noise

Flash Points

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Making Artistic Noise Part 2: Contemporary Activist Art

Flash Points

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Making Artistic Noise Part 2: Contemporary Activist Art

To continue from my first post, at Artistic Noise, we teach a curriculum that focuses on issues relevant to the lives of incarcerated and system-involved youth and uses art to …

laurenadelman

Flash Points

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Making Artistic Noise Part 1: Art and Social Activism with Incarcerated Youth

Flash Points

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Making Artistic Noise Part 1: Art and Social Activism with Incarcerated Youth

noise [noiz] noun – a loud, surprising, irritating, or unwanted sound In 2001, I was approached by Fran Sherman of the Juvenile Rights Advocacy Project to help develop an arts …

by Yalian Yang, Jonathan Garcia, and Nahid Sultana

Flash Points

Election 2008: Seizing the moment in the classroom

Flash Points

Election 2008: Seizing the moment in the classroom

One of the things I love most about teaching 12th grade is the sense that I am meeting students on the border between their child and adult selves. They are …

"Notes for a People's Atlas of Chicago" exhibition of Chicagoan maps of the city. Photo By Jason Reblando. 1-15-09 opening at Wicker Park Field House, Chicago.

Flash Points

A better “we” through art? AREA Chicago’s Daniel Tucker on art and community

Flash Points

A better “we” through art? AREA Chicago’s Daniel Tucker on art and community

This post is written as a dispatch from California, where I was at the College Art Association conference and speaking in classes at CalArts, SFAI, and the CCA Social Practices …

Aaron Gach, Center for Tactical Magic, "Ice Cream Man." Image via www.tacticalmagic.org

Flash Points

Fight the man! Three activist artists to watch

Flash Points

Fight the man! Three activist artists to watch

True story: I used to hate activist art. “Why so shrill?” I thought. “Can’t we just talk about this rather than producing a bunch of bad art?” I don’t always …

A few recently-published French books about the rise of Barack Obama (from left to right): Barack Obama : Le premier president noir des Etats-Unis by Guillaume Serina; L’intraitable beauté du monde. Adresse à Barack Obama by Édouard Glissant and Patrick Chamoiseau; and Barack Obama : L’anti-modele français by Jean-Baptiste Onana.

Flash Points

Authenticity 2.0

Flash Points

Authenticity 2.0

At the École des Beaux-Arts de Nantes (Nantes School of Art), I am teaching a course called “Contemporary Art in the United States, 2000-Today.” The premise of the course is …

The Victory Garden Trike in action in San Francisco

Flash Points

Practical propaganda: Amy Franceschini reinvents the Victory Garden

Flash Points

Practical propaganda: Amy Franceschini reinvents the Victory Garden

Amy Franceschini is my favorite kind of propagandist: she creates enticing imagery you can’t help but rally around, but backs it up with dirt-under-the-fingernails pragmatism in service of a nearly …

Detail of an altered ad by "Princess Hajib"

Flash Points

Where’s all the rightwing street art?

Flash Points

Where’s all the rightwing street art?

Learning of Princess Hijab—a Paris-based street artist who culturejams advertisements to include her namesake headscarf—an old question came to mind: where are all the rightwing graffiti artists, stencil afficionados, and …

chan

Flash Points

Share and Share Alike

Flash Points

Share and Share Alike

Artists who garner the most attention in any given time period are those whose work, explicitly or implicitly, reflects the deeper political sensibilities of the era. Right now, contemporary artists …

Chakkrit Chimnok at a cafe in Chiang Mai, Thailand (Paul Schmelzer)

Flash Points

Chakkrit Chimnok’s banana-leaf utopia

Flash Points

Chakkrit Chimnok’s banana-leaf utopia

Chakkrit Chimnok dreams of a “banana world,” a utopia in which overlooked or discarded items — specifically, the ubiquitous banana leaves that litter the streets in his home city of …

Michael Rakowitz, "paraSITE," 1998-present.

Flash Points

Transcending protest: Looking for pragmatic or poetic art of change

Flash Points

Transcending protest: Looking for pragmatic or poetic art of change

This weekend I went to an opening at The Soap Factory, a scrappy and often-excellent nonprofit art space a block or so off Minneapolis’ riverfront. The description of the work, …

Photograph of President Obama's inauguration by Doug Mills/The New York Times.

Flash Points

Obama Special, Part 2

Flash Points

Obama Special, Part 2

This continues my previous post about the laptop DJ/performance artist Girl Talk, in which I situate him in a lineage of intersections between art and music and suggest a link …

hope

Flash Points

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Hope and Change, Part 2

Flash Points

Teaching with Contemporary Art

Hope and Change, Part 2

On February 13th I received this message, as many of you did, from Americans for the Arts: Just moments ago, the U.S. House of Representatives approved their final version of …

Jacques-Louis David, "The Death of Marat," 1793 (Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Brussels)

Flash Points

Sade 2.0

Flash Points

Sade 2.0

On February 7th I drove to the Kasser Theater at Montclair State University to see a performance of The Investigation, a 1966 documentary drama by Peter Weiss (1916-1982), the expatriate German artist and …

Adam 5100, "Liberty Bird," 2006. Spraypaint on paper. Courtesy of the artist.

Flash Points

Artful Prudence

Flash Points

Artful Prudence

politic adjective 1. marked by artful prudence, expedience, and shrewdness. Art and politics have a complex relationship. In the past week, I’ve seen city officials propose the elimination of arts positions, …

L: Mannie Garcia/AP, 2006. R: Shepard Fairey, c. 2008. From www.nytimes.com

Flash Points

Il a chaud au Cul

Flash Points

Il a chaud au Cul

Not at all surprisingly for a corporate entity, the Associated Press recently established ownership of a photograph of Barack Obama taken at a 2006 National Press Club event by photographer …

Jessica Stockholder. Left: 2006 (inv. #438) Bamboo flooring boards, 2 green plastic bins, green thermos, lamp parts, plastic volume with tulle, wooden stool, hardware, rope, acrylic and oil paint, level caulking used as a primer on plastic and small parts; 96 x 144 x 112 inches. Right: 2006 (inv. #429), Furniture, tarp, pillows, lamp, plastic, glass jars; 105 x 51 x 30 inches.

Jessica Stockholder | Beauty & Politics

Jessica Stockholder | Beauty & Politics

DOWNLOAD VIA ITUNES | SUBSCRIBE VIA RSS EXCLUSIVE: In her New Haven, Connecticut studio, artist Jessica Stockholder discusses the relationship between beauty, pleasure and taste, and how all three have …

Bouchra Khalili, "Mapping Journey #1," 2008

Rome on a Roman Holiday

Rome on a Roman Holiday

In the depths of a seemingly endless New York winter, my mind is already thinking toward late spring days on the Adriatic and the 53rd International Art Exhibition at la …

Photographed by Dean Kaufman for W Magazine

Flash Points

Lilly Ledbetter* Art

Flash Points

Lilly Ledbetter* Art

It is only a coincidence that the world’s largest franchised art fair and the international banking regulatory body share a moniker from their shared base, Basel, Switzerland, but no coincidence …

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Flash Points

How might political change affect art?

Flash Points

How might political change affect art?

Diego Rivera, Detroit Industry, 1932-33. North Wall at the Detroit Institute of the Arts. I must say I’m finding the vociferous opposition in Congress over the allocation of a mere …

Lize Mogel, Mappa Mundi, digital print, 2008. Courtesy Melville House.

Flash Points

International Geographic: Interview with Nato Thompson

Flash Points

International Geographic: Interview with Nato Thompson

* Revised February 4, 2009. Lize Mogel, Mappa Mundi, digital print, 2008. Courtesy Melville House and iCI. Melville House and iCI recently co-published the exhibition catalogue for Experimental Geography, an …

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Flash Points

Extimasies: Art, Politics, Society in Times of Crisis

Flash Points

Extimasies: Art, Politics, Society in Times of Crisis

The Extimasies: Art, Politics, Society in Times of Crisis symposium recently took place on Saturday, January 10 at the Benaki Musuem on Pireos Street in Athens, Greece. Co-organized by Costis …

Jenny Holzer, MONUMENT, 2008. Thorax, 2008. Broad Art Foundation, Santa Monica. Blue Cross, 2008. The  David Roberts Collection, London. Green Purple Cross, 2008. For Chicago, 2008. Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), Chicago. © 2008 Jenny Holzer, member Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY. Photo: Lili Holzer-Glier

Flash Points

Jenny Holzer | Programming

Flash Points

Jenny Holzer | Programming

DOWNLOAD VIA ITUNES | SUBSCRIBE VIA RSS EXCLUSIVE: Jenny Holzer discusses the programming of her LED sculptures during the installation of the exhibition PROTECT PROTECT at the Museum of Contemporary …

Time Magazine, Barack Obama cover

Flash Points

Obama Special, Part 1

Flash Points

Obama Special, Part 1

What follows is just a bit late for the inauguration, which is appropriate. It is essentially old news. Let’s start with the “Flash Points” question of the week: how can …

Vaughn Meader

Flash Points

Letter from London

Letter From London: Dissent (of a Woman)

Flash Points

Letter from London

Letter From London: Dissent (of a Woman)

After the assassination of JFK in 1963, Lenny Bruce said, “They put two graves in Arlington—one for John Kennedy and one for Vaughn Meader.” Meader was a pitch-perfect Kennedy impersonator …

Jenny Holzer, Red Yellow Looming, 2004. © 2008 Jenny Holzer, member Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.  Kunsthaus Bregenz, Bregenz, Austria. Text: U.S. government documents. Lent by Cari and Michael J. Sacks. © 2008 Jenny Holzer, member Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY.  Photo: Attilio Maranzano.

Jenny Holzer | Writing & Difficulty

Jenny Holzer | Writing & Difficulty

DOWNLOAD VIA ITUNES | SUBSCRIBE VIA RSS EXCLUSIVE: Jenny Holzer discusses her difficult relationship to writing during the installation of the exhibition PROTECT PROTECT at the Museum of Contemporary Art, …

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Flash Points

A Fairey Tale

Flash Points

A Fairey Tale

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video The German-Jewish philosopher Walter Benjamin concludes his 1935 essay on “The Work of Art in the Age of …

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Flash Points

Art and Politics: An Introduction

Flash Points

Art and Politics: An Introduction

FLASH POINTS is a regular conversational series that focuses on issues relevant to the state of the art world at large, contemporary art education, and issues artists face today. You …