Synopses & Reviews
The relationship of art to politics has always been an uneasy one, and never more so than in the 20th century. Governments have sought to control, censor, or bend art to their own purposes; artists have resisted and subverted such efforts. But what happens when artists work on behalf of a political program? When does art become propaganda? Is art tainted, diminished, or elevated by its political content?
Toby Clark argues that propaganda art appears in many guises, and that the desire to persuade is not always at odds with aesthetic aims. He examines these many forms: the state propaganda of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Stalin's Soviet Union; democratic governments' representation of enemies in wartime; and anti-government protest art around the world, uncovering the complex rhetoric, high beauty, and ambiguous role of art that dwells in the political realm.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 166-167) and index.
Table of Contents
Revolution, reform, and modernity, 1900-1939. Brecht and the critical audience -- "Deeds not words" : women's propaganda and the avant-garde -- Murals and national history -- Radical art on the grand scale -- Art, propaganda, and fascism. Fascism and the aestheticization of politics -- Fascism and archaism -- Nazism and the avant-garde -- Fascist interpretations of the body -- Propaganda in the communist state. "Organizing the psyche of the masses" -- The theory and practice of socialist realism -- Emblems of Soviet heroism -- Propaganda at war. "This means you" : recruiting images -- Saturation and censorship -- Targeting the enemy -- War on television -- Remembering war : memorials and anti-monuments -- The art of protest : from Vietnam to AIDS. The renewal of dada -- Paris '68 -- Third cinema : "The camera is a rifle" -- Feminism(s) -- Propaganda against propaganda -- Against silence and invisibility.