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Lecture 7

ENGL 111W Lecture 7: Lecture 7 The Gramsci Monument Notes

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Simon Fraser University
Stephen Collis

Thursday, March 2, 2017 ENGL111W The Gramsci Monument Lecture #7 Notes THE GRAMSCI MONUMENT Antonia Gramsci was a 20th century Italian Marxist thinker who wrote his books while in prison. His most inuential idea is that hegemony = the idea that those in power use cultural institutions and ideology to maintain power. The hegemonic power in society uses culture to make its own value seem common sense and natural. THOMAS HIRSHHORN THE GRAMSCI MONUMENT The Idea = his idea was to build this public art space where people could share art ideas, culture, food and art with each other and build a sense of community. This idea occurred in a community park in the Bronx in New York City. Ideas can be a counter culture as opposed to cultural ideas. His idea was to build cultural space with hegemonic values to body a counter culture. He opened it in the projects to bring people together. He incorporated the residence and the individuals living in the community, by giving them jobs and a chance to be include, to bring his art project as he calls it to life. His art became a place of community (sort of like a community centre. His art included a library, an art studio, a smoothie bar, an open kitchen, grafti room, etc. It acted as a Utopia, where the community came up with ideas and basically built their own idea of utopia; it was a community within another community. THE PROJECTS Projects = are public housing projects to help with poverty and build subsidized housing, but this aided segregation (the poor are separate from the rich) (high number ofAfrican americans (black people) live in the projects and this comes into play in society as a racial and cultural bias). The projects started out as an idea that was topic and helpful to the community, but over time it has become a place of crime, drug dealing and poverty. The projects then act as a border, aiding segregation. There are positive and negatives to living the project, Moten outweighs these pros and cons throughout his poem. APOEM: FRED MOTEN THE GRAMSCI MONUMENT In his poem Moten plays with the various meanings of the word project. He nds,hidden in the word as it were, positive and negative, celebratory and mournful responses On the other hand, to have a project to work on, is the project of yourself. Your life, your experiences, your culture and your independence is your project. THE PARADOXES OFVALUEAND BEING VALUED In fact, these different possibilities in the projects are entwined with each other throughout the poem. The main example and fundamental idea being that history is a messy, complex and contradictory concept. QUOTE: we the project they stole, we steal/ the project back = Your project can be your life, lets take the life that was taken away from you back. QUOTE: Lets bust the project up. Let solve the project = Moten states some contradictory statements to prove his point that there are negatives and positives of living in the projects. QUOTE: We violate the auction block-we pirates of ourselves and others. The auction block is all of this incredible residence of african-american people, they realize th
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