Special Topics: Managing Activist Art


Units: 6

Description: The course will examine two areas of artistic endeavor: 1. The world of activist and dissident artists and how governments and institutions react and respond to their work 2. Managing the artists and organizations who use their work to effect social change Artistic expression has been used throughout history to provoke, explain, refute and support policies both social and governmental. Authorities have responded to artists in a variety of ways, from developing policies to stifle artistic expression, to adopting new rules or laws to address issues in a positive way, to incarceration of artists and worse. At the same time, there are numerous examples of how individual and collective actions of artists have encouraged (forced?) those in power to address issues and adopt specific cultural policies to embrace social change. Areas of inquiry: • Differences between activist, dissident and anarchist artist • Subject areas that are likely to be of concern to artists • The relationship of creative need relative to the artist’s priorities • How governments and institutions respond to activist art • Examples of provocative art leading to policy development • The place of Nationalism in art and where we stand today • Relationship between law and activist artist