Thursday, March 16, 2017
This course has taught me about various aspects of the historian practices of the gay community in the Los Angeles. Not only have places in the Los Angeles areas been highlighted though the texts we have read, but have been constantly validated in the works that we have seen in class. In addition, we’ve seen how Los Angeles has been a melting pot of different cultures and practices. Therefore, it is only fitting that the art that has come out of culturally specific communities be forms of resistance and calls to action against political and social oppression. Community activism has been so pivotal to art and expression during times of injustice. For examples the political posters we examined in class are visual efforts to communicate the feelings of marginalized communities. However, as the course has progressed we’ve seen that activism does not only include acts done by a large community. A lot of the artists we have chosen incorporate elements of resistance and advocacy into their works. In addition, the books we have read have talked about how the actions of one person in the gay community can have a great effect to the artistic community as a whole. I think that art is so important to the gay community because it gives a very visible and physical attachment to a community that is often swept under the rug and is unfortunately plagued with issues of health that need real attention.
For example, in regards to the AIDS epidemic, having a visual representation gave a symbol to a health issue that needed to be address in the community. Associating the disease with art solidifies it in peoples minds and makes it a much more powerful issue to team up with. In addition, I think art provides a way for those in the LGBT+ community to document their own history. Museums and archival work is often an environment that silences histories and sterilizes reality. Art however, acts as a way to reject those “white” spaces and create identity and physical things with meanings that can have longevity. Spaces dedicated to art and expression, whether they be museums intended for people of color or murals for anyone are spaces where a narrative can be created and honored and I am very lucky to have been able to study that in this class.