DUE DATE : Monday, March 25(!!!), by 9:00 pm! Please submit in Canvas, “Assignments,” only!  This task sheet has 3 PARTS (I, II, III). You must complete ALL 3 PARTS for credit.  ONLY submit Task Sheets that are complete and based on the assigned readings and videos!

READINGS [ALL READINGS CAN BE ACCESSED VIA MODULE: WEEK 8 ] Linda Weintraub (et al.): “David Hammons” Amy Harrison: Guerrillas In Our Midst,1992 [see Module: Week 8 and Module: Videos] Guerrilla Girls: AND Guy Hepner: “Banksy: Art as a Political Weapon”(Guy Hepner Art Gallery): On Banksy’s Dismaland

INTRODUCTION Throughout history, art and politics have continuously been intertwined and artists have employed ever new art media and practices to express their opinions and engage audiences. Especially since the 1960s, artists took to the streets with legally and illegally placed artworks in the public sphere, thereby creating another form of activist art. They intentionally boycott mainstream art institutions and the gallery system, as well as circumvent an art market deemed racist, sexist, money hungry and generally hypocritical. Public and street artists often angle their poignant critique at the art world as well as at the world, focusing their art on social conditions and injustices, political conflicts, and other current issues.

PART I: PUBLIC ART: DAVID HAMMONS: URBAN SCULPTURES FROM URBAN DEBRIS Key Term: Public Art The term public art refers to works of art in any media that have been planned and executed with the specific intention of being sited or staged in the physical public domain, usually outside and accessible to all. This term came to signify a particular working practice, often implying that a work of art is site specific, that there is community involvement and/or that it is a collaboration. The term is also applied to include artwork that is exhibited in a public space, including publicly accessible buildings.

Key Artist: David Hammons

David Hammons: Higher Goals, Cadman Plaza, Brooklyn, NYC, 1986

David Hammons, born 1943 in Illinois, went to L.A. City College, then to Otis Art Institute (L.A.), where his work became concerned with African American experiences. In the mid-seventies, Hammons moved to Harlem, NY, where he began to search the streets for litter he used as material for many of his artworks in order to connect to the community. Hammons created many of his pieces in public places around NYC, and especially in impoverished neighborhoods, because he wanted to communicate with people outside of the art mainstream. His mixed media installation, Higher Goals, was influenced by Simon Rodia’s Watts Towers, in the Watts district of Los Angeles.



YOUR TASKS FOR PART I Read: Linda Weintraub (et al.): “David Hammons”

Please answer the following THREE questions in 6-8 sentences EACH: 1) Explain why David Hammons placed his mixed media sculpture, Higher Goals, in impoverished and then predominantly Black neighborhoods of Harlem and Brooklyn, NYC., according to the text. 2) Explain why David Hammons, according to the text, used debris discarded and found in NYC neighborhoods, such as thousands of bottle caps to create intricate patterns around the telephone poles, as well as basket ball hoops and other found objects. 3) Explain the message of Higher Goals according to the text, and how it connects to the specific community within which the artist placed Higher Goals. —————————————————————————————————————————

INTRO TO PART II AND III: STREET ART AND GRAFFITI “The underlying impetus behind Street Art grew out of the belief that art should function in opposition to, and sometimes even outside of, the hegemonic system of laws, property, and ownership; be accessible, rather than hidden away inside galleries, museums, and private collections; and be democratic and empowering, in that all people (regardless of race, age, gender, economic status, etc.) should be able to create art and have it be seen by others. Although some street artists do create installations or sculpture, they are more widely known for the use of unconventional art mediums such as spray paint, stencils, wheat paste posters, and stickers. Street Art has also been called independent public art, post-graffiti, and guerrilla art.” [Source:]

PART II: THE GUERRILLA GIRLS: CONSCIENCE OF THE ART WORLD Key Artist Collective: Guerrilla Girls Guerrilla Girls is an anonymous group of anonymous women artists and art professionals devoted to fighting sexism and racism within the art world, calling themselves the “conscience of the art world.” The group formed in New York City in 1985 in order to expose the continuing gender and racial inequality in the art community and in society in general, as well as corruption and conflicts of interest in museums and the movie industry. They use humor and guerrilla tactics in their work in order to make their serious messages engaging. The Guerrilla Girls have created posters, billboards, a public transportation campaign [see right], books, lectures, interviews, public appearances and websites to distribute their messages to a large audience across the US and beyond.

Y OUR TASKS FOR PART II View: Amy Harrison: Guerrillas In Our Midst,1992 [see Module: Week 8 and Module: Videos] Read: Guerrilla Girls: AND

Please answer the following FOUR questions in 6-8 sentences EACH: 1) Summarize the Guerrilla Girls’ story according to their website [see above websites]. 2) Explain why the Guerrilla Girls chose to remain anonymous as well as why they placed their art – often illegally – in form of posters etc. in the public sphere instead of in museums and galleries. 3) Pick one of the Guerrilla Girls posters or billboards and explain it, including where it was placed. 4) Please add your reflections on the Guerrilla Girls and whether you believe their strategies and artwork were/are effective in addressing inequality in the art community and beyond.



PART III: GRAFFITI: BANKSY: ‘ART AS A POLITICAL WEAPON’ Key Term: Graffiti (Art Movement) Graffiti [from the Italian word graffiato (“scratched”)] has come to refer to art that is written, painted or drawn on a wall or other surface, usually without permission and within public view. Graffiti ranges from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings. Emerging in the 1970s in the context of urban neglect, impoverishment, discrimination, and the hip hop movement, Graffiti has since become a major and respected art form and entered the art mainstream. However, it is still considered subversive and controversial, as it is often created without permission and thus considered defacement or vandalism by city officials and property owners, or even an urban “problem” in many cities across the globe.

Key Artist: Banksy Acclaimed British [Bristol-born] artist and political activist, publicly known as Banksy, rose to fame in the 1990s with his now iconic stenciling technique, strategically placed, in order to create powerful artworks that respond to current societal and political issues. Banksy, who is, as Hepner writes in his article, “[c]ombining dark political humor and satirical wit, is certainly the most controversial street artist on the modern global stage.” Banksy has described graffiti and street art as a form of underclass “revenge” that grants an individual the ability to take the power back from the privileged, as for generations, “real” art was something only accessible to the elite.

YOUR TASKS FOR PART III Read: Guy Hepner: “Banksy: Art as a Political Weapon”(Guy Hepner Art Gallery): View: On Banksy’s Dismaland [You may use further material, however, please reference ALL sources you used!]

Please answer the following THREE questions in 6-8 sentences EACH: 1) When it comes to Banksy’s artworks, the location is very often part of the message he is conveying. Using one example, explain how the placing of his powerful artworks is connected to their meaning. 2) View the video on Banksy’s spoof on Disneyland called Dismaland, a temporary “bemusement park” he set up in Weston Super Mare, England, in 2015. Explain the park and some of the current social and political issues he was calling attention to, as well as how he subverted Disneyland. 3) Please add your reflections on Banksy and whether you believe his strategy and artworks were/are effective in addressing social and political issues.

Banksy: Season’s Greetings, 2018, in Port Talbot, Wales, one of the most polluted towns

Banksy in Birmingham, England, 2019. Created before the Holidays as homeless deaths hit a new high in England that year


  • PART I: public art: David hammons: URBAN SCULPTURES FROM URBAN debris
  • PART III: GRAFFITI: Banksy: ‘Art as a Political Weapon’