How does political policy-making shape the creative activities of artists? Do the political interests of artists influence actual political practices in any way? Legislating Creativity examines the relationship between art and politics through an analysis of controversial art projects tied to the National Endowment for the Arts during the Culture Wars (late 1980s-1990s). Though there have always been tensions in government funding for the arts, these controversies intensified the public debates surrounding art/politics and remain as a focal point in conversations that continue today. The book focuses on three case studies: Mapplethorpe's controversial photography, an exhibit on the impact of AIDS entitled Witnesses, and the Guerrilla Girls. Dustin Kidd has provided a thoroughly enriching look at the intersections of art and politics—the ways that political practices transform creative expression and the ways that artistic drives shape political policies.
Table of Contents
1. The Culture War of the Arts 2. The Scandal of Public Funds 3. Sexual Politics in the Defense of Art 4. Witness for the Arts 5. Spell it Like the Freedom Fighters 6. Conclusions and Revisitations
Dustin Kidd is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Temple University in Philadelphia. He holds a BA from James Madison University, an MA in English and a PhD in Sociology, both from the University of Virginia. He has published articles in Research in Political Sociology, The Journal of Popular Culture, The Hedgehog Review, and AfterImage. He teaches courses on popular culture and social theory at the graduate and undergraduate levels.