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Marxism, Feminism, LGBTI Studies Mar 20.docx

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Leanne Caroll

FAH 102 Marxism, Feminism, LGBTI Studies March 20, 2014 Marxism • As a methodological paradigm in art history o How the work was shaped by social and economic power and ideology o Awork shapes viewers ideas and influences them, presents them with ideas and assumptions o Work plays a role that the assumptions viewers hold o Can challenge or reinforce these assumptions o Formal qualities of principles and design, subject matter, themes, scale, symbols –all of these work together to shape the ideas of the people who look and think about the work o The work is also shaped by ideas and assumptions (influenced by a society/culture’s ideas and assumptions) o Work constitutes or forms those ideas and it is mutually constituted by those ideas • Marxist perspective o Social and economic power and ideology o Karl Marx who lived from 1818 to 1883, studied and wrote about economics and was an activist o Wrote in the time just after the industrial revolution in Europe o Das Kapital: 1867  Asserted that the fundamental condition of possibility of capitalist society is the exploitation of the worker’s labour  No regulations requiring the capitalist business owners to pay their workers at a rate that is equivalent to the true value of their labour  In result, the labours are exploited  Collaborated with Frederich Engels, 1820-1895 o Communist Manifesto  1848, wrote with Frederich Engels  Explained how the exploitation of workers leads to a class struggle  Happens between the poor and bourgeoisie  Marx and Engels asserted that there is a consciousness that is specific to each of these classes  World view is determined by the classes economic position  World view and how states in society is organized, those are metaphorically like a superstructure  Visible part of a house or a building (ideology belongs to this)  Ideology is a collection of ideas that cohere and has consistency o Show how art is ideological about class relations o Antonio Gramsci, 1891-1937  Developed the theory of cultural hegemony  Bourgeoisie maintained their dominance or control not through military or police force or laws, but rather through culture  Cultural production communicates political, moral, cultural values and these values serve the dominant class only  The subordinate classes accept these values and right and true  Or this class buys into desire as opposed to needs and consumer goods – requires money –requires selling their labour o Louis Althusser, 1918-1990  Repressive StateApparatus: includes the police, courts, prison, government, and the military  Ideological StateApparatus: includes education, religious values, family values, political parties, media, and arts and culture  Marxists, art is on the one hand a form of economic production-not a manifestation of genius-it is a part of ideological state apparatus  Making art can be something that is available to everyone and a means of challenging the dominant classes values and unite subjugated groups o Michael Baxandall  Economic and social relationships of the commissioning between artists and patrons  Looked at activities of artists beyond paintings, they had to know how to measure pigments as well as supervise assistants in their studios o SvetlanaAlpers  She approached the work of Rembrant in a similar way  Look at marketing strategies and how he exchanged his paintings for goods/services o Consider:  The social and economic status’of the patron, the artist, and of the artist generally at the time  Details about the commissioning of the work  Did the artist make or buy his/her own materials  Did the artist employ and specialists to aid in the making of the work  How much is the work worth now?  Significance of the techniques, materials, scale and working methods  How these might show the patrons or owners status in society, or lack there of  How political/social/economic conditions might have placed limitations on materials that were available to the artist  Ideologies that informed the conception, creation, and reception of the work  The power relations or dominant ideologies reinforced or critiqued through the choice of subject matter and moment depicted  The choice of subject matter and moment depicted  The use of elements and principles of design  Visual analysis is where they intersect with Marxist art history  Who, or which socioeconomic classes had access to the work and how  The ideological impact of the work  How it was received, you can see how it changed or reinforced dominant ideologies or social classes, including the status of the artist o Diego Velazquez, Las Meninas, 1656  All of his work is being funded by the king  Dependent on him having this position in the court  Economic issues come up and power issues/status issues can be talked about with Marxist theory • Feminism o How artworks are shaped by gender ideologies o The women who commission the work and the women who view the work o The women depicted in the works o Possible to study the work of a female artist without taking into account how the artist or the patron were shaped by gender ideologies o Only feminist when it considers the ideologies o Linda Nochlin  Why have there been no great women artists?  Women simply didn’t have the same access to training  Genius as a notion excluded women o Griselda Pollock  Necessary to disallow the term genius and that art history’s typical protocols needed to be disallowed as well  Elevate craft in order to make room for female artists  Traditional topics in art history were created by men and for the study of art by men, didn’t render them inapplicable to art by women  It was disconcerting for women to become involved in a prominent way, Nochlin’s first point was that there were culturally specific explanations for women’s previous lack of involvement o Virginia Woolf, if Shakespeare had a sister with her same talent then she wouldn’t have had the opportunity to write o If there were such things as feminine values, how would we know because everything is inscribed by patriarchal values o Harder to challenge those ideological apparatus’then it is repressive apparatus’ o Best for feminist art historians to first focus on understanding how gender ideologies operate in art and visual culture o Ideology can operate in subtle forms, so can resistance to them o Consider:  How the artist’s choice of medium, subject, and scale and her training and her career development may have been restricted owing to gender  Was the choice of medium open? Or was it made by default because it was the only material available at that time  Are women in this culture permitted to visit public places?And thus permitted to gather subject matter, shoot video  Scale of the work unrestrained or limited to duties expected by the artist, were those other duties prohibited the artist from devoting herself to a large scale project  Admitted into art school? Could the artist expect her work to be exhibited or seen?  Purchased by major museums at this time?  How prevalent women artists were at the time, was the artist an exception? Or were female artists more prevalent  Whether the subjects the artist depicts are typically male or female  How does gender of the figures depicted, how does that figure into the artists total style  Artists of the opposite gender typically treat the same subjects/themes as does the work in question  For example, did the male impressionists depict women, or was it only a few  Experiences in the artist’s life in which gender plays a role  The gender of the intended audience  The gender of the patron as well  The notion of ideal feminine beauty, does the work present a culturally specific ideal of feminine beauty and if so what does this consist of?  How the work shapes and is shaped by social values about women through the choice of subject matter and moment depicted and the use of elements and principles of design  Do these influential ideas challenge the dominant patriarchal idea  General reception of the work, what have male artists said about the work  Other feminist
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