Essay on Art As A Real Sense, Affected The Course Of Human Affairs

1409 Words Dec 11th, 2015 6 Pages
Art critic Clement Greenberg once said, “I don’t see art as having ever, in a real sense, affected the course of human affairs.” The sentiment here is that any “art” which has an impact on the world becomes propaganda or craft. However, the people who postulate this sentiment are the ones who use art for the crudest of purposes: the art market. It’s the same logic as saying that education has no purpose outside the world of work and consumption. When art becomes liberated from the demands of the market, it gains the power to transform our lives. This is the point at which art intersects with protest. “Political” art can be safely cloistered behind glass sheets in a museum, where it will claim to soothe the wounds from which it came. In contrast, protest art, or the art of social movements, cannot be commodified, because when it is, it ceases to be protest art. Analogous to this logic is how an internet meme ceases to be funny once it is commodified. Protest art does not (merely) depict the world; it modifies it. Protest art often makes use of the body, becoming “site-specific”. Good protest art does not become a fricative to the system it is protesting against, but integrates itself into the system. As with all things, the difference between political art and protest art is a spectrum, not a contrast of black and white. This paper aims to discuss instances where the idea of protest was reworked into something more effective, even more fun, than picketing: an art form.…

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