Art essay sample

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This American crisis left its mark all over culture back in the 60's and 70's: predominately in writing, theatre, and film. And yet, American art seemed to be unhindered by this, well at least the painting and sculpture being in the mainstream from the studio to the dealer and hence to the museum collections of modern art. But as the 60's moved swiftly into the 70's there seemed to be a lot more activist art that was being produced. Nevertheless the larger mainstream works that enjoyed a mandate from the museum of modern art (MoMA) seemed to have remained oblivious to politics, obviously reflective of the unimportance of political art for a major institution, or one might say an outlet of culture. Thus insinuating an alliance between the government and major national institutions, as its imperative we understand that they function as different parts essentially operating one machine.
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Artistic propaganda is nothing new in France and in fact has been going on since 1539 when the first political posters were put up. As these became more prevalent they became more powerful and more widely used to advertise a particular way of thinking. Eventually these posters were not granted Liberty because they could incite action from the public so readily. They were scrutinized and given boundaries as to what they could say. This continued for quite a while and when the germans invaded France and took over, there was a strict penalty for inappropriate behavior, sometimes even death.
In WWII there was so much of this art put up that it basically defined the period between 1940 and 1945. The pen was truly mightier than the sword to the point that Dominique Rossignal said that War with images extends war with arms. (Rossignol 63) There was stiff competition between the Germans and the French for propaganda.
Germans constantly captured the sources needed for this important artwork to be made; confiscating the ink, the paper, distributing agencies, and anything in between. The French were able to continue however, creating more than 3 million posters commemorating Labor Day.
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There is a public dimension to making art. And this isn't to do with how many people if any get to see the object or the event but it's because making visual art is making visual. It's making something to be seen. And so it is public whether or not anyone actually gets to see it and so all artworks in a sense call their own public into being. And we only become aware of this, perhaps, when we come against something like Broodthaers square. Which excludes us from its public. Artworks call their own public into being through their mode of address. Broodthaers mode of address is rather severe and authoritarian. The rope barriers are there to prohibit you from a certain set of actions. In that prohibition comes the address of that work to the public. This mode of address is common to a great deal of artworks. And the difference is there's usually more than the restrictions to be seen. Many artworks have a much more informal and inclusive mode of address. Some you can walk over, Carl Andre's floor sculptures. Others you can go inside of. All this interactivity is part of an adequate response to the work of art and may be the work of art itself.
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