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Art and Social Criticism (AFRICAAM 102B, ARTHIST 162B, CSRE 102A, FEMGEN 102)

Requirements: 
WAY-A-II, WAY-ED
102

Visual artists have long been in the forefront of social criticism in America. Since the 1960s, various visual strategies have helped emergent progressive political movements articulate and represent complex social issues. Which artists and particular art works/projects have become key anchors for discourses on racism, sexism, economic and social inequality, immigrant rights and climate change? We will learn about a spectrum of political art designed to raise social awareness, spark social change and rouse protest. The Art Workers Coalition¿s agit-prop opposing the Vietnam War and ACT-UP¿s emblematic signs and symbols during the AIDS/HIV crisis of the 1980s galvanized a generation into action. Works such as Judy Chicago¿s The Dinner Party (1979), Fred Wilson¿s Mining the Museum (1992), and Glenn Ligon¿s paintings appropriating fragments from African-American literature all raised awareness by excavating historical evidence of the long legacy resisting marginalization. For three decades feminist artists Barbara Kruger and the Guerilla Girls have combined institutional critique and direct address into a provocative form of criticality. Recent art for social justice is reaching ever broadening publics by redrawing the role of artist and audience exemplified by the democratization of poster making and internet campaigns of Occupy and the Movement for Black Lives. We will also consider the collective aesthetic activisms in the Post-Occupy era including Global Ultra Luxury Faction, Climate Justice art projects, and the visual culture of Trump era mass protests. Why are each of these examples successful as influential and enduring markers of social criticism? What have these socially responsive practices contributed to our understanding of American history?

Subject: 
AMSTUD
Course ID: 
217 503
Grading: 
Letter (ABCD/NP)
Course Tags Human: