Art as Political
This week we focussed on one aspect of art as political: the subversion of stereotypes in art. Stereotypes are convenient general categorizations, but few people want to be seen as stereotypical and thinking in terms of stereotypes is often reductive and sometimes completely misleading. The use of stereotypes is a kind of essentialism, a way of suggesting that there is an essence shared by members of a group or class. For an interesting discussion of our essentialising (and over-essentialising) tendencies, read this interview with the psychologist Susan Gelman.
In the gallery we looked at works in the room 'Double Life' most of which overtly challenged stereotypes of women. (You might be interested in a Tate Modern presentation by two founding members of the Guerilla Girls from 2006 and their website www.guerillagirls.com).
Next week - the final session of the course: art as curated.