978-0-415-90435-3 / 9780415904353

Arresting Images: Impolitic Art and Uncivil Actions





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About the book:

Although art may sometimes shock us, so do many recent attempts to regulate it. Contemporary art displays new values and beliefs that may stun, disturb, or even frighten. In Chicago, a painting of the late Mayor Harold Washington in women's underwear was seized by outraged politicians and the police. The National Endowment for the Arts rescinded funds it had pledged to a New York City exhibit confronting the devastation of the AIDS epidemic. The Corcoran Gallery balked at mounting a retrospective of Robert Mapplethorpe's photographs, some of which depicted homoerotic scenes or nude children. In Florida, a music store owner and "2 Live Crew" were prosecuted for the alleged obscenity of a record album. Steven Dubin guides us through the opposing artistic, cultural, political, and social issues bared by events such as these. Drawing upon extensive interviews, a broad sampling of media accounts, legal documents, and his own observations of important events, Dubin surveys visual art, photography, and film, as well as artistic upstarts such as video and performance art.

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