Sunday, November 9, 2008

Can art change society?

Continuing my exploration into So, why is this art? I will examine the eighth and final of the key points:
Can art change society?
The Contemporary explores this question thusly:

In times of cultural upheaval or change, art can reflect the society in which it was made. Artists around the world have used their work to raise issues about racism, sexism, consumerism, injustice, and war... Artists who break with artistic traditions often do so to criticize the art world and sometimes extend that criticism to other institutions in society as well. In these cases, the purpose of art may become political or be used as a form of protest.

Again, art can be cathartic and can be an excellent way of letting go of those things that bother us. Depending on what the artist needs to get off his/her chest, this can take on a different tone and can reflect upon societal values and events. Also, art can provide a means of communicating with others and of expressing grievances and ideas to others. As a means of communication, art can expose injustices and, like eloquent speeches, can even move its audiences to action. Most importantly, art can provide a means to those who may not otherwise express themselves to voice themselves, offering empowerment while exposing those things which are too often left unsaid.

This wraps up my exploration into So, why is this art? In conclusion, I am a strong supporter of diversity in the arts and feel that everyone should be able to express themselves, whether they work traditionally or non-traditionally and regardless of what they have to say. I think it good that institutions like the Contemporary can offer worksheets like this as a means of increasing public exposure to art movements and ideas, for all that there is so much to explore and to convey that this worksheet is overly simplified. I do wish that each point had brought up a list of artists who are known for their work along that vein, so that those reading the worksheet can look into their work if interested. I will post some that come to mind as comments on my own posts here - please feel free to do the same.

1 comment:

ChaoticBlackSheep said...

Judy Chicago

Francisco Goya

Craig Norton