Presentation on theme: "Art as Persuasion “art is not a mirror to reflect reality, but a hammer with which to shape it” Berthold Brecht."— Presentation transcript:
1 Art as Persuasion“art is not a mirror to reflect reality, but a hammer with which to shape it”Berthold Brecht
2 Art is an overlooked form of persuasion Persuasion’s traditional focus has been on oral and/or textual messagesemphasis is on persuasion within the “world of words”the role of images in general, and art in particular, has been neglected
3 The traditional “layperson’s” view of art Art is created for “art’s sake”Representational view of art—art seeks to re-create or imitate realityRomanticism—art seeks to idealize or romanticize realityDecorative function—art needs to match the sofa, drapes, etc.Dogs playing poker—kitsch at its finestThomas Kinkade, “Seaside Hideaway”—mall art
4 An enlightened view of art Art serves more than an aesthetic or decorative functionJust as “rhetoric” is more than mere eloquenceJust as novels can provide more than mere entertainmentArtists express their opinions in and through their workArt serves social and political endsPablo Picasso’s “Guernica,” which has been described as “the highest achievement in modernist political painting” (Clark, 1997), is a symbolic indictment of man’s cruelty to man during the Spanish civil war.
5 Gass & Seiter’s viewThe proper study of the “art of persuasion” should include art as a form of persuasion.Art satisfies the major requirements for persuasion:IntentionalityEffectsSymbolic actionFree choice/conscious awarenessTracy Emin, “My Bed” postmodern feminist art
6 Controversial artArt can create controversy, conflict, and even violenceThe cover of the New Yorker depicted the Obamas as Muslim extremistsIslamic extremists rioted after a Danish cartoonist drew caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad
7 More controversial art Blessed Art Thou, by Kate KretzMy Sweet Lord, byCosimo CavalleroMonument to Pro-Life: The Birth of Sean Preston, by Daniel Edward’sNapalm, by Banksy
8 Art shines a spotlight on society Daniel Edwards’ Octo MomChris Ofili’s Virgin MaryVan Thanh Rudd homage to Banksy
9 Art as a political tool of governments Greek friezes and frescoes taught citizens moral lessons involving Greek gods and Greek mythology.The Catholic church commissioned thousands of works of art to promote CatholicismPoliticized art: totalitarian governments used art to further the ends of the stateThe doctrine of “Socialist realism”“Roses for Stalin”dedicated members of the proletariat work happily during the industrial age
10 Chinese revolutionary art Under Mao, art’s purpose was to promote communist ideologyPoster art deified Chairman MaoPoster art promoted the ideals of the cultural revolution
11 Pro-Government Art in the U.S.A. This painting depicts the “New Deal” bringing electricity to rural America. At the time nine out of ten farms had no electricity. (David Stone, Electrification, 1940)
12 Art directed against governments or society Eugene Delacroix’s, “Liberty Leading the People,”(1830) both endorses and romanticizes the French revolution.Picasso’s “Guernica” exposes the horrors of warDiego Rivera’s murals depicted the subjugation of the peasant classEdvuard Munch’s “The Scream” (1893) expresses a mixture of anxiety, fear and dread toward societyGuerilla street artist “Banksy” uses stencils to offer social commentary
13 public art controversies Recent social controversies demonstrate the persuasive potential of artA proposal to build a monument to the firefighters at ground zero was scrapped after a feud erupted over what race the firefighters should be.Obama-Hitler analogy
14 How Art Persuades Art shines a spotlight on society. Awareness via consciousness raisingThe “Guerilla Girls” movementAwareness through interpretationSuzanne Lacy, “Three Weeks in May”Awareness through participationWafa Bilal’s “Shoot an Iraqi” projectThe Names Project
15 Art with a social conscience Aschcroft Versus Lady JusticeJohn Ashcroft’s covered the bare breasts of the Majesty of Justice (known as Minnie Lou) in the Great Hall of the Justice departmentAschroft said he wasn’t comfortable being photographed at press conferences in front of the her large, aluminum breastsThe new, blue velvet drapes cost $8,000Dread Scott Tyler and the American FlagA Republican led group filed a lawsuit to ban Dread Scott Tyler’s display, “What is the Proper Way to Display the U.S. Flag?”The Judge dismissed the suit reminding the court works of art are protected under the First Amendment.Three boobs in this picture?Tyler’s “What is the Proper way to Display the American Flag” on display at the School of The Art Institute of Chicago
16 Art as a form of consciousness raising The Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC) uses mural to address community issues, foster cross-cultural understanding, and promote civic dialogue
17 Art as an instrument for social change “Art has long been a powerful weapon in the activist's arsenal.” (Fred Baerkircher)Artists use art to critique society and promote social changeArtists use art to engage the public and increase public awareness of social issuesActivists who belong to the “Art and revolution project” protest multinational corporations and the WTO through performance art
18 Participation through interpretation observers reflect on what an exhibit means or what the artist is trying to say.In their effort to understand the exhibit viewers engage in active thinking or central processingActive participation (increasing involvement)observers don’t just observethey become part of the artPeggy Diggs “Domestic Violence Milk Carton Project”Suzanne Lacy, “Three weeks in May” (1977)Barbara Donachy, “Amber Waves of Grain”
19 Participatory artShoot an Iraqi: Wafaa Bilal lived in a room for 30 while Web viewers were allowed to shoot him via a remote-controlled paint gun.Over 60,000 shots were fired by people from over 100 countries.
20 Art as consciousness raising--continued The AIDS memorial quilt, a.k.a. the NAMES projectthe largest community art project in the worldhand-sewn folk art panels commemorate those who have died of AIDSthe quilt is designed to increase awareness and decrease homophobiaeach panel puts a human face on the grim statisticstraveling exhibits take the quilt to the people“There was hope we could beat the disease by using the quilt as a symbol of solidarity, of family and community; there was hope that we could make a movement that would welcome people—men and women, gay and straight, of every age, race, faith, and background” (Cleve Jones, co-founder of the NAMES project).
21 How art persuades--iconicity Images stand for and resemble the things they representImages can sum up a concept:the “trash can” icon in Windows, female and male silhouettes on a restroom doorPaintings of portraits, landscapes, and still life are iconic representations of people, places, and thingsAssorted iconsThe bald eagle as an icon for AmericaAn icon for ignoring a problem
22 Iconicity--continued Iconic art needn’t be accurate, objectiveIconic art can glamorize, romanticize, stereotype, vilifyExample: political caricaturesExample: paintings of the crucifixion or the last supperExample: Medieval paintings as allegoriesIcons can evoke emotional responses in receivers
23 iconicity in political cartoons Pinocchio’s long nose is an iconic representation lf lyingDepicting a politician with a long nose makes the visual claim that the politician is a liar.
24 Appropriating corporate icons Health Gap is an activist group seeking increased awareness and funding for HIV/AIDS in AfricaCoca Cola is the largest private sector employer in Africa, but only 1.5% of Coke’s workers are eligible for HIV/AIDS drugsControversial art transforms a passive viewer into an active thinkermay increase central processingmay trigger cognitive dissonance
25 Indexicality in Goya’s art Goya’s, “The Third May” (1808) depicts Spanish partisans, arms outstretched, being ruthlessly gunned down by Napoleon's troopsNotice: the painting offers visual “proof” that the atrocity took place.
26 IndexicalityThis painting by John Trumbull supposedly “documents” the signing of the Declaration of Independence. However, no such ceremony actually took place.
27 Indexicality--continued The Cottingly Fairies: In 1916 Frances Griffiths and Elsie Wright, perpetrated a hoax involving photos taken with fairies.The documentary aspect of images can be misleadingArt can serve up inaccurate records of eventsGreek sculptures idealized the human bodyPhotographs can be airbrushed or digitally alteredWhen Time magazine reproduced O.J. Simpson’s picture on its cover, the image was darkened to make him appear more sinister and menacing
28 The camera always lies: the myth of photographic objectivity April 2, 2003: Brian Walski, a photographer for the L.A. Times, digitally “doctored” a photograph of a British soldier guarding civilians. The photo was published on the front page of the L.A. TimesThe photo, shown below, is actually a composite of the two separate photos on the right.Walski was fired because "Times policy forbids altering the content of news photographs."
30 You can’t trust what you can see… In the digital age, images are malleable, changeable, fluid. In movies, advertisements, TV shows, magazines, we are constantly exposed to images created or altered by computers.“photography is highly interpretive, ambiguous, culturally specific, and heavily dependent upon contextualization by text and layout.“Fred Ritchin, In Our Own Image: The Coming Revolution in Photography, New York: Aperture, 1990, 81.Soon after 9/11, a camera was “found” on the sidewalk that happened to survive the collapse of the Twin Towers. When the film was developed, it revealed a tourist in the wrong place at the wrong time. The picture is a fake.
31 How art persuades—syntactic indeterminacy Images, unlike language, lack logical operatorsImages can’t convey:cause-effect relationshipsif-then relationshipseither-or relationshipsImages can conveyspatial relationships: higher, lower, bigger, smallerchronological relationships: before, after, the passage of timeanalogies or comparisonsJoe Rosenthal’s photo of Iwo Jima, 1945Tom Franklin’s photo of Ground zero, Sept. 11, 2001
32 But syntactic indeterminacy can be an advantage Images can equate one thing with another via associationsThe associations may be subtle or obvious
33 syntactic indeterminacy--continued Images as narratives: panels from Diego Rivera’s “History of Mexico,” tell a story about the ongoing conquest and subjugation of the peasants
34 In conclusion Art can be controversial It can challenge the existing social order.It can make people angry. It can offend.It can heighten people’s awareness.It can make people question their assumptions. It can change the way they see things.It can make them reconsider their assumptions.In so doing, art persuades.