Art and Power: Art can promote power, it can question it, or it can simply call attention to it.


Art and Power: Art can promote power, it can question it, or it can simply call attention to it.

In each unit discussion you will have a post where you address one or more of the questions posed. A high-quality post will be: on time thoughtful answer thoroughly use specific examples of artwork and/or use sources including the text, and online or offline articles to support its points.

Unit Learning Outcomes

Describe some of the means by which rulers have asserted their power in art. (2, 3, 4)

Discuss some of the issues surrounding power as it affects women. (2, 3, 4)

Define colonialism and outline some of the ways that artists have addressed it. (2, 3, 4)


Watch the following videos.

Record your initial impressions while you watch the video and they are still fresh in your mind.

Read the discussion questions below and leave your comments using the “Reply” prompt.

Make sure you proofread your posts and cite you sources using MLA format.

Videos Click on the icon at the top right corner to show interactive elements within the image.

Discussion Questions

Choose 1 (ONE) of the following questions to answer:

How is Wodiczko’s role as an artist different from what you expected? How does his work address power, especially when he projects on monuments?

What do are the contrasts between the traditional image of women and the way Carrie Mae Weems presents them? How are powerful women portrayed in our society?

Kaphur uses defacement as a way of critiquing Andrew Jackson.

What other examples of defacement can you think of, from history, the news, or from your daily life (such as painting on a sign or billboard, or even scribbling a mustache on a picture of a person in a book)?

Why do you think people do this—is it simply to make trouble (as is often claimed), or is there a deeper reason behind the drive to intervene on “official” images? (source SmartHistory: Teaching Guide: TItus Kaphar, The Cost of Removal (Links to an external site.))

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