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Lesson Plans

Re: homeless art

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Elizreese (Elizreese)
Sat, 6 Dec 1997 16:28:36 EST

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Lynne wrote-

Andres Serano (of the NEA controversy) did a wonderful series of photos of

homeless people. I saw some of them exhibited at the Fine Arts Museum in

Santa Fe a few years ago. The prints were brilliant color portraits,

larger than life, and did not "objectify" the people. Instead, they made

the people too big to ignore, and clearly individuals.

If these works are not "objectified," I wonder what the implications of large,
brilliant, color photographs of people who can not afford roofs over their
heads in a museum space suggest? If the intent of creating the works and
displaying them was not--among other issues--to objectify the homeless, I am
sure Serrano and the Museum and its patrons regularly contribute to the
homeless cause, and the programming was created to contextualize these
issues... ?

Let us not forget the Mapplethorpe "double-edged sword:" can you truly
consider the works without factoring in both their artistic AND political


Elizabeth B. Reese
Doctoral Candidate
The Pennsylvania State University

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