Adbusters #61, in which I served as guest art editor
As guest art editor for Adbusters issue 61, I interviewed a variety of artists and curators on how and if art can work for positive social change. This blog post shares answers by NYU professor Robert Storr, UC-Santa Cruz art history professor Jennifer Gonzalez, Artforum editor Tim Griffin, artists Rirkrit Tiravanija and Thomas Hirschhorn, and curator-critic Hou Hanru.
A sample, from Hou Hanru:
"Take an example like Joseph Beuys. Of course he was very crazy claiming that he's going to change the world through his art, but I think his way of trying to change things is more metaphysical somehow. Itís not only through manipulating some popular find. In today's context, very often people who are interested in real change somehow have more distance from the popular signs of the social communication. Sometimes there are some very strong artists who use a very simple, very abstract kind of gesture to evoke this kind of agenda of social change, rather than simply appropriating the existing signs.
...It always comes back to me that one very strong image is David Hammons. He did this very beautiful action which is very simple: he was selling snowballs. He was selling snowballs in Brooklyn on the street in the winter. He made different snowballs of different sizes, and he was selling them at different prices. This was such a strong critique about the logic of consumption society, and behind it, of course, was the whole notion between white and black and all these social issues. A simple gesture like this can, because the complexity being expressed through a very simple action, the tension between this simplicity and complexity, make a very strong social statement."
Blog post: http://eyeteeth.blogspot.com/2005/08/can-art-change-world.html
Autograph Project: Hello, My Name Is...
"The Art of Living"/"The Art of Dying"
"Pragmatic Experimentation: An Interview with Cameron Sinclair"
"Divinity for the Reality-Based Community"
"Open-Ended Utopia: The art of Rirkrit Tiravanija"
"An interview with Thomas Hirschhorn"
Adbusters: "Can Art Change the World?"
"The Anarchist in the Library: Discussing Cultural Democracy with Siva Vaidhyanathan"
"Insurgent Inquiry: The Art of Allora and Calzadilla"
"Memory & Exile: The Borderless Art of Emily Jacir"
"Open Ended Interview: Doryun Chong on Rirkrit Tiravanija"