Art Arises out of the Ashes of History. (the Last Word)

By Fields, Suzanne | Insight on the News, April 1, 2002 | Go to article overview

Art Arises out of the Ashes of History. (the Last Word)


Fields, Suzanne, Insight on the News


Art that's controversial gets attention. That's not necessarily bad. It makes us look at or read something we might otherwise have ignored, often provoking debate that is as interesting -- and sometimes more interesting -- than the work itself. This particularly is true about art that grows out of a contemporary crisis or tragedy, when those personally affected by the tragedy are offended by an artistic treatment of it.

The terrorism of the suicide bombers who flew into the World Trade Center inspires all kinds of images in art and sculpture. But photography, particularly, moves uncomfortably close to families of survivors. Interpretive and abstract images often are more acceptable. Hence, the beams of light gracing the lower Manhattan skyline, evoking ghostly images of the twin towers, are perceived as a poetic memorial. But a video piece by an Italian artist actually showing film footage of one of the planes plowing into the World Trade Center was removed from a show in New York City because it was too graphic, scratching on raw nerves.

Jamie Wyeth's painterly photo of three firemen raising the flag at ground zero inspires audiences because it depicts a heroic gesture similar to the famous sculpture (also based on a photograph) of Marines raising the flag at Iwo Jima. When Pablo Picasso painted Guernica to win a Communist Party prize in the middle of the Spanish Civil War, allegedly showing how Francisco Franco's forces destroyed a Basque village in Spain, the painting was gruesome. But it frequently was reproduced in this country for propaganda purposes to inspire disgust for Franco and arouse sympathy for those fighting against him.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, a subversive in the Soviet Union, was rendered a hero here during the Cold War when his beautifully written narrative depictions of the gulag exposed the brutality of what Ronald Reagan aptly had called "the Evil Empire."

A revival of Arthur Miller's play, The Crucible, now is on Broadway. It was written in 1953 at the height of America's search for communists in government. The playwright used the 17th-century Salem witch trials to suggest the hysteria of naming names in testimony before the House Committee on Un-American Activities. This year, however, the current event on which it was based generally is lost on younger audiences (a half-century is a long time) and the art must stand on the power of its narrative and universal insights. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Art Arises out of the Ashes of History. (the Last Word)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.