Postmodern Dilemmas: Outrageous Essays in Art & Art Education

By Jan Jagodzinski | Go to book overview

2 A
WOLF IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING/ A SHEEP IN WOLF'S CLOTHING QUESTIONING THE FINE ARTS IN OUR SCHOOLS: WHAT'S So FINE ABOUT IT?1

I
A Personal Dilemma1

In the current postmodern moment Cornel West ( 1990), amongst others, has argued that those artists&critics who align themselves with demoralized, demobilized, depoliticized, and disorganized people as "organic intellectuals" (cf. Antonio Gramsci) in order to empower and enable social action, find themselves in an oxymoronic position. Caught in a schizophrenic double bind (cf. Gregory Bateson, 1972) they are simultaneously progressive&coopted by the very institutions they find themselves in. On the one hand, in their cultural productions they must make a gesture to the operations of power within their immediate work contexts, pointing out and critiquing the very limitations of the institution that they belong to, yet and on the other hand, since there is no "outside" from which to criticize, they must remain financially dependent on the very institutions that feed them. Ways, therefore, must be found to stage the ruse -- to interrogate the limits of the discourse that binds a particular institution so that the ampersand moves toward, in oxymoronic terms, a "coopted progressivism."

Although I have no illusions of having the formidable power of an "organic intellectual" that West alludes to, the sense of being caught in a schizophrenic double bind does present itself. In 1990 1 ended a 2-year appointment on the Fine Arts Council of the Alberta Teachers Association (the governing body in the province of Alberta, Canada, which, although not a union, is responsible for negotiating teaching certification and acting as a watchdog for the provincial government's intervention in education). By the end of the second year it had become abundantly clear what the council's mandate was: To promote the teaching of fine arts in Alberta schools, and to do this required some form of advocacy, best achieved, its members thought, by approaching the business community.

The following brief summary speaks to the local politics in the way education in the province of Alberta, Canada, has been successfully managed by the current conservative government in power. While my discussion is highly polemical and accusatory and, of course, ideological, it points to the workings of hegemony. The Lougheed government in 1976 began its first early interventions into the School Act. Then in 1988, to generate its own "crisis" in education, the Lougheed government sent out a public questionnaire in the local newspaper so as to gather public opinion as to how well the school system was doing its job. The results were interpreted by government researchers who subsequently provided the grounds as to why even more state intervention in education was necessary.

____________________
1
A version of this essay has been published in Fine, volume 13 (Nov. 1989), I have updated some of its references.

-59-

Notes for this page

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 ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book 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 book

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

Cited page

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 page

Bookmark this page
Postmodern Dilemmas: Outrageous Essays in Art & Art Education
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

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
/ 270

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.