Art and Power in the Digital Age
Author, NYTimes Culture Writer
For centuries, art censorship has been a top-down phenomenon. Kings, Popes, and one-party states decided what was considered obscene, blasphemous, or politically deviant in art. Today, censorship can also happen from the bottom up, thanks to calls to action from organizers and social media campaigns. In this new world order, artists, critics, philanthropists, galleries, and museums alike are recalibrating their efforts to increase the visibility of marginalized voices and respond to the people’s demands for better ethics in art. But what should we, the people, do with this newfound power?
In this talk, Farah Nayeri addresses the difficult questions plaguing the art world, from the bad habits of Old Masters, to the current grappling with identity politics.
Recounting her interviews with Nan Goldin, Sam Durant, Faith Ringgold, and others, Nayeri tackles wide-ranging issues including sex, religion, gender, ethics, animal rights, and race. She provides the tools to navigate the art world, by asking and answering questions such as the following: Who gets to make art and who owns it? How do we correct the inequities of the past? What do authenticity, exploitation, and appropriation mean in art?
Time will be allocated for Q&A.
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This program is run by the Harvard Club of Washington DC
Farah Nayeri was born in Iran and spent her childhood years in Tehran, Rabat and Cairo before settling in Paris. There, she became a reporter for Time Magazine, covering French politics, society and culture. She then wrote for The Wall Street Journal Europe -- producing political op-ed pieces and reviews of exhibitions of Marc Chagall and Tom Wesselman, as well as of ex-President Valery Giscard d'Estaing's first novel. Joining Bloomberg in 1995, she was posted two years later as bureau chief to Rome. She became a tenant (among many) of the Palazzo Doria Pamphilj, home to Velazquez's fabled Portrait of Pope Innocent X.
Since 2001, Farah has lived in London, making regular jaunts to France, Italy and Spain. Over the years, her roster of interviewees has come to include artists David Hockney, Ai Weiwei, Jeff Koons, Joan Jonas and Richard Serra; architects Zaha Hadid and Frank Gehry; songwriter and poet Patti Smith; and actor Morgan Freeman. Farah has steered New York Times conferences in Europe and the Middle East, and chaired panel discussions for the World Economic Forum. She has spoken at Sciences-Po in Paris and at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. She is a classically trained pianist, and a devotee of flamenco dance.
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