How Artist Express Anger and Protest Through Their Art

Topics: Visual arts, Art, Sociology Pages: 6 (2151 words) Published: June 23, 2013
Case study- Extended Response

Art has always been a mean through which soul finds an opportunity to express its emotions freely. Many artists cannot separate issues of politics and society from personal and psychological issues. When it comes to the form of the work, there are issues of emotion, modes of expression and poetry. There is the issue of how an artist can make an impact on the audience which a politician or an academic cannot. An art that does not express emotions is not art. Works of art often arise from deep feelings of the artist or a crisis in his or her life. Artist often use their art as a tool of communication with the world around them therefore artworks are excellent resources for historians for the art of an artist is usually based on the events that take place during the life of the artist. Many artists have expressed their feeling of displeasure with their environment or their sense of anger and dissatisfaction through art. Art is a powerful mean of representing the truths about humankind and the world they live in and can communicate issues that can’t be expressed otherwise. Art can also connect the people in a society when raising an issue that everybody can relate to. By raising awareness, some artists aim to work toward the betterment of society. Expression of anger towards many issues such as personal, political, social and cultural has always been the practise of many artists. Many issues have been raised by artists such as gender issues, political, environmental, cultural and historical issues. For instance many feminist artists address issues relating women rights and aiming to achieving gender equality, equal opportunity and social status while many other artists raised issues relating the environment and global warming and some touched upon the issues faced by indigenous people and many more. Some of these artists have made a great impact on society and have made major statements, expressing their anger and protest through art, Shirin Neshat, Barbara Kruger, Fiona Foley and Vicki Varvaressos are good examples to name a few. Shirin Neshat, an internationally renowned photographer, videographer and film maker is a perfect example of an artist who uses art to express her anger towards the social perceptions about women specifically in Islamic societies. She raises this issue through art and questions the past ideas and traditions and protests against those wrong social perceptions which repress the freedom of women and require only silence from them. Her work provides a reflection of the status of women in traditional Islamic societies. She was born in Iran but having been raised in a modernised and educated family, was sent to The United States to pursue her education but upon her return, the Islamic revolution had overtook her homeland and she was exiled and couldn’t return until 11 years later, when she realised the country that she returned to bore little resemblance to the one she left. She tried to deal with her sense of displacement and anger by addressing issues that Iranian women faced through art. She used art to help her reconnect herself to people. The result was ‘Women of Allah’ photographs which reflects on the status and the character of the women in traditional Islamic cultures, by using the basic elements of black veil, modern weapons and written text. Each photograph pictures Neshat dressed in black, facing the camera and holding a weapon. Some of the photographs only a part of her body is shown such as hand or foots with Persian text as part of the photographed imagery. The images are intimate, deep and objective. While reflecting the status of women in Iran and their power as women they demand the audience to ponder about this issue and question the traditions. They depict the anger of Neshat in being caught between two cultures– her native Persian background and the American culture in which she lives.– She is caught between a freedom of expression and the...
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