Question Description

I’m working on a art discussion question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.

1) In The Watts Towers, L.A.’s hand-built sculptures we learn about Simon Rodia and The Watts Towers. In 1957, the community organized public hearings to discuss whether the Watts Towers should be demolished.

How could these community organized public hearings contribute to a sense of community?

How would a group of concerned citizens deciding for themselves what they want in their neighborhood contribute to producing a community identity?

Who decides what is public art? The community or the city?

Consider that the Watts Towers were built by an Italian immigrant and built using knowledge he obtained as a tile setter and telephone lineman.

2) In We Need New Institutions, Not New Art by Coco Fusco, the author finishes her article by stating,

“And while justice and equity may be goals for a democratic political culture, they have never been the principles that drive the most powerful patrons and artists of the art world. We’d do well to consider who actually views the arts as an arena in which social justice should prevail. We can’t assume that it’s a shared value.”

In 100 words or less, explain how Fusco’s experience in the 1990’s and following decades, help form her argument that we need new institutions, not new art. For example, the 1993 Whitney Biennial and the following reception.

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