Reflection on art and society

Posted on by Ben Hodson

To measure just the effect art has had on the world, there is a need to remove the surrounding forces, events, political, social and religious contexts.  Once all these variables have been removed, what is left is purely theory.  It is becoming apparent that it is impossible to separate art from its context.  It forces you to no longer look at art as a separate entity, but rather the herald, signaling the need for change.  Or perhaps the cheer leader supporting and even leading the movement of the social and political spheres.  An example of this would be the group of activist students and artists who took up residence in Ecole de Beux Arts in Paris 1968.  The Atelier Populaire (Popular Workshop) was formed and became famous for producing numerous posters which were intended as “weapons in the service of the struggle and are an inseparable part of it.” (Atelier Populaire, 1968) Their mandate was to support the large ground swell of social change in France.   Their free posters became “the battle standard” for the masses. Their art did not cause the civil unrest, although they did help to rally support.