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Re: politics

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From: Patricia Knott (pknott_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Feb 09 2003 - 11:53:31 PST


Dawn said:
> art and politics do go hand in hand.
>
> Think of the Oath of the Horatii, Rape of the Sabine
> Women, and the fantastic images of the French
> Revolution. There is a important history of artists
> dealing with politics and the emails sent have a
> tendency to make me rethink what I should be teaching
> to meet the immediate needs of my students. Maybe
> Franciso Clemente's self portraits done in protest
> each day of the Gulf War are more significant than
> Claude Monet's Field of Poppies or trying to figure
> out where to fit MC Escher's tesselations into my
> "curriculum".

Last week's incident at the U.N provided a perfect opportunity to relate to
a real issue in my first meetings with my Why Man Creates class. We were
discussing the purposes of art making, when I saw the story. Although I
always talk about Guernica in this class, I pushed up the discussion to meet
the current event. It resulted in one of the best class discussions I've
ever had. The U.N. said " we needed the right background that would work on
television..." What an opportunity to talk about how powerful an artist's
interpretation and imagery... how lasting the images (even if they are not
so "real") and how important the artist is in creating images that cause
such regard. Of course, the kids knew nothing of the origins of the
painting but they certainly could relate to what may be to come. Precision
bombing indeed! Estimates predict, that if we follow through with current
plans, perhaps a half million innocents will be lost.

We can not disregard the reasons for art making, one of which has always
been commentary on social and political issues. Achieving technique is the
means to the communication, don't forget the purpose of art.

I have been on this list for a few years. Controversy comes and goes. But I
always hope to find some "thinking" on this list. This should be a place
where we discuss the "why for's" as well as the "how to's." I for one, look
forward to those people that have been around and offer good advice, but
especially those people that question and delve and maybe look for another
way.

Politics has as much place on this list as what's the best sharpener to use
for colored pencils. And if you think politics have nothing to do with your
job ..... consider the implications of No Child Left Behind. And think
about some of the stuff Larry Seiler has been saying about what is happening
in his state.

expecting more snow here in PA
Patty

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