Monday, September 24, 2012

Greg Oct 1: Pretty art about ugly things?

For Greg's discussion group on Oct. 1, we will be reading and discussing art and the environment via:

= "Poison Pictures" by Rebecca Solnit, 2003, on the photography of Edward Burtynsky (who talks in the video above--which you're not required to watch).
= "The Green Moment: Land art and the rise of the environmental movement" by Tyler Green, Modern Painters, 2012. (Note: Link goes to summary, not full article.)

Questions to consider: Among the ways artists are addressing environmental issues, as described in the readings, which are more effective? How do we define effective? Are they aesthetically effective? Are they effective at fostering social change? Can they do both? Tyler Green speaks about environmentalism within 1960s and '70s Land Art, but how "environmental" was that work? The most famous pieces often involved major interventions in the landscape. Should art be socially conscious? Is it okay to make pretty art about ugly things?
Related (unrequired!) things to consider:
= "How to Turn a Parking Space into a Park."
=  “The Ends of the Earth” at LA MoCA.
= "Ansel Adams: At the Water's Edge," Peabody Essex Museum, through Oct. 28. Adams sometimes used his photos in campaigns promoting environmental conservation.
=  Andy Goldsworthy’s “Snow House” at DeCordova.
= Boston Tree Party.

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