Sunday, February 19, 2012

Will The 80's Ever End?

"Alas, first Michael and now Whitney. They represented two strains in 1980s pop culture: Houston, a child of the gospel tradition, and Jackson, the alien artist who took the music in directions nobody'd imagined. Not incidentally, that's a tension that runs through the Museum of Contemporary Art's powerful new "This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s." Curated by Helen Molesworth of Boston's Institute of Contemporary Art, the show presents artists at a crossroads between the classical and the radical—between political complacency and impatience."


"The decade spills beyond its formal boundaries. One persuasive claim made here is that the 80s are still with us because so much of what defined them—HIV, the preoccupation with mass media, a conservative political class impelled by racial and sexual paranoia—is still with us. The street-protest aesthetic embraced by the Occupy movement recalls actions by feminists and AIDS activists, who became frustrated—no, furious and desperate—at outrages against their communities. In 1989 the artist collective Gran Fury created Kissing Doesn't Kill, a series of bus placards showing a mishmash of couples—biracial, straight, gay—kissing. The punch line: "Greed and indifference do." That same year a "public service message" from the Guerrilla Girls listed The Advantages of Being a Woman Artist; the lead entry was "Working without the pressure of success." "

From an article in the Chicago Reader about a new show at the Museum of Contemporary Art...

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