Art and Commitment


West Bank Arts Quarter
U of M: Twin Cites

Locations include: Rarig Center, Regis Center for Art, and the Barbara Barker Center for Dance

Free and open to the public

Carol Becker and Amar Kanwar

Date: Friday December 03
Time: 3:30 - 6:00
Place: Regis Center for Art - Influx Auditorium


See bio on: Carol Becker or Amar Kanwar

Introduction: Jane Blocker, Associate Professor of Art History, University of Minnesota

"Gandhi’s Body and Further Representations of War and Peace"

In my essay I am concerned with the evolution of Gandhi’s personal development especially his image and the physical use of his body and how these intersect with struggles in India and South Africa. In this sense I am concerned with issues of representation and performativity. Having established these concerns, I then bring them to the work of three artists who also take on serious social issues and find modes of representation that effectively give shape to the urgent historical and spiritual issues of war and peace.

Biography on Carol Becker


Lives: Chicago Illinois, U.S.A.

Artist, Art Historian, and Dean,
of Faculty and Senior Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

She is the author of numerous articles and several books with many foreign editors. Her book publications include: The Invisible Drama: Women and The Anxiety of Change; The Subversive Imagination: Artists, Society, and Social Responsibility; Zones of Contention: Essays on Art, Institutions, Gender, and Anxiety; and most recently, Surpassing the Spectacle: Global Transformations and the Changing Politics of Art.

Prelude to published interview taken from the book, Conversations Before the End of Time by Suzi Gablik.
“In 1994, Carol Becker was appointed dean and vice-president for academic affairs of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, having been a former chair of the graduate division before that. She received her Ph.D. in literature at the University of San Diego, where she was a protégé of Herbert Marcuse. A lecturer in women's studies since the late 1960s, and a writer on psychoanalytic theory and cultural politics, she has been mulling over the obsolete attitudes and strategies of the art world for a long time, particularly the issue of the artist's responsibility to society, which she claims is a sensitive issue that makes everyone uncomfortable, defensive and insecure. Becker feels that many artists simply refuse to address the issue at all. Artists often choose rebellion, which alienates them from their audience, and then become angry at the degree to which they are unappreciated. In part this is a consequence of the way we educate students in art schools, envisioning the artist as a marginalized and romantic figure who, she claims, operates "out of what Freud calls the Pleasure Principle while the rest of us struggle within the Reality Principle." Students need to think about their work, she feels, not in isolation, but in relationship to the public and to an audience that has not been addressed in art school pedagogical situations. American art students, like most American college students, Becker claims, have not been trained to think globally or politically about their position in society. In a sense, art has seceded from American culture so completely that it has lost its effectiveness and become a subsidized bureaucracy of self-serving specialists.”

The Frankfurt School of Critical Theory: Feminist Theory; Art and Popular Culture; Interdisciplinary Studio Critique; Nineteenth Century American Literature; Nineteenth and Twentieth Century American Cultural History; Philosophical Psychology; South African Art and Politics; Educating Artists.

Selected Recent Career Highlights:

Books Published:

BA, 1968, State University of New York at Buffalo
Ph.D., 1975, University of California, San Diego.

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Biography on Amar Kanwar

Born in New Delhi, India

Lives New Delhi, India


“There is perhaps, no border outpost in the world quite like Wagah, where this film begins its exploration. An outpost where every evening people are drawn to a thin white line and probably… anyone in the eye of a conflict could find themselves here.
“A Season Outside" is a personal and philosophical journey through the shadows of past generations, conflicting positions, borders and time zones... a nomad wandering through lines of separation, examining the scars of violence and dreams of hope scattered among communities and nations.”
-- Amar Kanwar on his film “A Season Outside.”

Selected career highlights:

To be announced

Curriculum Vitae (download .pdf)
Filmography (download .pdf)
"A Season Outside" (download .pdf)

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