Thursday, March 16, 2017
This course has taught me the complexity of the Los Angeles gay community and its intersectionality with art. The way in which identities are shaped by and shape art is an ongoing and active process. LA’s rich political history coincides with its evolution of art. Community mobilization so often surrounds art and expression, sometimes in very direct ways such as political poster art, and sometimes in less direct ways. A prime example of this community mobilization alongside art would be the Lambda Literary Fest. Attending this festival shed light on the fact that art is a center for community and identity. Not only is art a means of expression or creativity, but holds power, particularly political and social power, to organize and mobilize people. Going back to poster art, it is also interesting to realize the art, creativity, and power behind posters. In addition to the posters mentioned in class, posters were essential during the AIDS crisis, and represented the link between creativity, public information, and calls to action.
I feel that one of the most striking characteristics of art in Los Angeles is the political power behind it, and its power to transform or mobilize communities. Additionally, LA art is an expansive blend of performance, written, and visual art. From this final research project, I have learned the ways in which the space in which we exist impacts our identity and also the way art is received. Documentary photography has been shaped greatly by these spaces that create identity, and helps unveil those identities as dependent on the spaces in which they exist. The great wall of Los Angeles is an example of the way art becomes accessible yet also creates an impactful and profound message. Ultimately, this course has taught me to be more aware of my surroundings as art is inevitably in spaces less “respectable” than expected, and the motivations and inspiration for art are so often found within community identities.