10-15-08 Culture Wars (The Cold War and Abstract Art)

10-15-08 Culture Wars (The Cold War and Abstract Art) - The...

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The Cold War and Abstract Art Michael de Groot 10-15-08 Culture Wars 1. “The horror of what is shown in the photographs cannot be separated from the horror that the photographs were taken -- with the perpetrators posing, gloating, over their helpless captives.” Susan SONTAG, “Regarding the Torture of Others,” New York Times , 2004 Concerns American soldiers torturing Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib The fact that photos were taken shows the intention of disseminating them Photos now able to be circulated widely because of new technologies Photography itself is part of the torture because the potential of their dissemination (and the humiliation of the prisoners) was used to intimidate the prisoners Condems the acts themselves and at the same time that the soldiers shamelessly and event proudly took photographs of themselves perpetrating the torture Criticizes soldiers for seemingly not expressing any remorse for their acts Rebukes the Bush Administration’s refusal to take responsibility for this behavior and American culture for encouraging it 3. “The Italian comes in at the bottom, and in the generation that came over the sea he stays there. In the slums he is welcomed as a tenant who "makes less trouble" than the contentious Irishman or the order-loving German, that is to say: is content to live in a pig-sty and submits to robbery at the hands of the rent-collector without murmur.” Jacob RIIS, How the Other Half Lives , 1890 Includes racist generalizations, stereotypes of immigrants, intrinsic habits As way to allow his audience (of more affluent people) to map out the racial hierarchies and to master.navigate confusing world of immigrants Emphasizes that immigrants immoral behavior/bad moral character connected to their poor living conditions: Riis’s overall project was aimed toward social reform To convince the upper classes of the urgent problems of the other half Though describing deplorable living conditions of New York tenements: overcrowding, lack of light, ventilation, [Connection between text and image Please identify this image and discuss it in relation to the issue of labor. Dorothea LANGE, Filipinos Picking Lettuce , 1935 , photograph [Salinas Valley, California] 1
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The Cold War and Abstract Art Commissioned by the FSA, agency created by New Deal to demonstrate poverty of rural workers to justify New Deal policies that were develop to end Great Depression Depicts migrants (specifically, non-white immigrants) literally doing back breaking, low- wage labor Emphasized through low point of view Works Progress Admission (WPA) – A New Deal organization employing artist during the greater depression especially for mural projects depicting triumphant, uplifting moments in American history; intended to inspire pride and patriotism, remind people of good times. The murals rely on nostalgia for the best to boost the spirits of citizens living during the great depression Naked City
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