Each of the readings from this unit outline a specific model of subversive resistance to established systems of power that can be observed in the practices of contemporary artists across genres. Though the readings all share an implied outcome—the subversion of dominant power—their strategies are each distinct. In this way, each can be understood as a methodology of resistance—a lens for identifying the sometimes hidden ways that those with less power can creatively undermine larger systems of power. Your assignment in this paper is to choose just one of these methods of resistance to use to analyze two specific works cultural works discussed in this unit.* In essence, the works you discuss become “case studies” that allow you to examine and discuss a specific mode of creative resistance.
This “case study” approach is common practice in critical writing in the social sciences and cultural studies where social, political, and economic theories are used as a method to explain the unrecognized structures and belief systems behind behaviors and events in the real world. Case studies can be formal and follow a scientific format of distinct sections titled Overview, Background, Method, Analysis, and Conclusion, or these elements can be more organically worked into to an essay or article. Either way, the process is similar: case studies apply a theoretical approach or method from an established source to a new site of the author’s choosing in order to, first, inform the reader about the chosen site; and, secondly and even more importantly, to introduce the reader to the theoretical methodology used in the analysis.
PICKING A LENS
Review your notes from the reading, lecture, and section discussion. artist performing disidentitifcation? What are the strategies or characteristics the author identified as key to their resistance strategy. Now: apply it to your art object. REMEMBER: it isn’t necessary that the art object you choose is an exemplar of the lens. If it doesn’t seem like the lens applies, describe how it doesn’t. What conclusions can you draw from the contrast?
CHOOSE 2 ART OBJECTS
Zoe Leonard, “I want a president”
Nao Bustamante, interventions: “Rosa Does Joan” and “Work of Art”
Original Zephyr Skate Team, Dogtown and Z-Boys(dir. Stacey Peralta, 2001)* *
Michael Rakowitz: ParaSITE (related to the inflatables example shown with the De Certeau)
Joe Scanlan: IKEA Coffin – first example in the article (related to the IKEA hack example shown with the De Certeau)
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