Photographic Politics

1 Image 1 Minute Presentation Prep Due
Exam #2 will be posted to Blackboard Friday evening, May 12 and must be submitted by Monday, May 15 at 11:59 PM.
Time for Student Evaluations!
Robert Mapplethorpe, Shoe (Melody), 1987.











Litta Madonna

Untitled 216

Leonardo da Vinci, Madonna and Child, 1482.
Cindy Sherman, Untitled #216, 1990.
Appropriation = the use of found or borrowed elements in the creation of a new artwork
Walter Benjamin's The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction
  • In an age when images can be reproduced endlessly, there is no original
  • "Aura" is the feeling of awe created by unique object from the past.
  • Capitalism destroys the aura because of proliferation, mass production and endless reproduction.











Richard Prince, Untitled Cowboys, 1980 - 1986.






















Spiritual America

Richard Prince, Spiritual America (after an original by Garry Gross), 1983.












Brooke Shields in Pretty Baby

Pretty Baby
Storeyville Portrait
Brooke Shields in Pretty Baby
E.J. Bellocq.  Storeyville Portrait.  c. 1900 - 1917.











Richard Prince, Spiritual America IV, 2005.











Cala Lily

Robert Mapplethorpe, Calla Lily, 1984.
Robert Mapplethorpe, Parrot Tulip, 1988.












Female Nude

Male Nude

Robert Mapplethorpe, Untitled (female nude),  1981.
Robert Mapplethorpe, Untitled (male nude), 1981.













Robert Mapplethorpe, Shoe (Melody), 1987.
Robert Mapplethorpe,Two Men Dancing, 1984.











Historic Context
1965 National Endowment for the Arts created, $2.4 million budget
Assassination of first openly gay elected official, SF Supervisor, Harvey Milk along side Mayor, George Muscone
1981 AIDS first reported in popular press
1985 More than 1,000 San Franciscans have died of AIDS
Rock Hudson dies of AIDS
Conservative commentator, William F. Buckley, in a March 18, 1986, New York Times opinion article, called for mandatory testing for HIV and said that HIV-positive gay men should have this information forcibly tattooed on their buttocks (and IV-drug users on their arms)
1987 "Black Monday" stock market crash
AIDS Memorial Quilt project begun by SF Gay Rights Leaders
President Reagan first uses term "AIDS" in public
Robert Mapplethorpe, American Flag, 1987.
71,176 diagnosed with AIDS and 41,027 of those dead
1988 Perfect Moment exhibition at Institute of Contemporary Arts, Philadelphia
1989 Berlin Wall torn down
Perfect Moment exhibition at the Museum of Contemprary Art, Chicago
Perfect Moment exhibition canceled two weeks before opening at Corcoran Gallery of Art in D.C.
Senate debate against NEA support of Perfect Moment
Robert Mapplethorpe dies of AIDS
1990 Perfect Moment exhibition at the University Art Museum, UC Berkeley
Germany reunited
Nelson Mandela released from prison
Keith Haring, Freddie Mercury, Craig Owens and Halston die of AIDS
Perfect Moment exhibition at Cincinnati Contemporary Arts
Dennis Barrie acquited of charges of pandering and obscenity related to Perfect Moment exhibition
1991 USSR desolved and Boris Yeltsin becomes Russian President
AIDS Ribbon campaign begun in conjunction with World AIDS Day
Magic Johnson publicly announces he is HIV positive
Isaac Asimov dies of AIDS
1992 David Wojnarowicz dies of AIDS
1994 Advent of the World Wide Web
Official end of white rule in South Africa
Elizabeth Glaser dies of AIDS
1997 Tony Blair becomes Prime Minister of Britain, ending 18 years of Conservative rule
"Dollie" the sheep cloned in UK
1996 Felix Gonzalez-Torres dies of AIDS











Body Politics

  • Taking the lead of the feminists, artists continue to recognize the body as a political site
  • Examines the diseased, flawed, victimized and ignored body
  • Counters the modernist focus on abstraction
    and its objectification of the nude
Cindy Sherman, Untitled #263, 1992.











AIDS Related Death

Andres Serrano, The Morgue (AIDS related Death II), 1992.











Andres Serrano, Hacked to Death, 1992.











Andres Serrano, The Morgue (Knifed to Death), 1992.











Serrano interview
Andres Serrano, Klansmen, 1990.










Identity Politics


"the personal is political"
  • Identity politics formed as a strategy to counter social inequity
  • Considers the structures by which we define ourselves
  • Questions the idea of "normal"
Catherine Opie, Self-Portrait, 1993.











Assorted definitions of "pervert" =

to lead astray morally
to turn away from the right course
to turn to an improper use; misapply
to bring to a less excellent state; vitiate; debase
Pathology. to change to what is unnatural or abnormal
Catherine Opie, Self-Portrait/ Pervert, 1994.











Self-Portrait Nursing

Catherine Opie, Self-Portrait Nursing, 2004.











Jessie and the Deer

Sally Mann, Jessie and the Deer, 1985.











Last Light

Sally Mann, Last Light, 1989.










The work is "about everybody's memories, as well as their fears." - Sally Mann


Terrible Picture

Sally Mann, The Terrible Picture, 1989.











Candy Cigarette

Sally Mann, Candy Cigarette, 1989.













Len Prince, Jessie Mann, 2004.