ABSTRACT

In an age when culture is dominated by the output of the mass media, making art can still be regarded as a socially positive activity because artists are active producers, rather than passive consumers, of images. Because artists exercise their imaginations, develop practical and intellectual skills, and generate their own representations of reality, they are not as reliant as non-artists on the representations supplied by the media organizations. Furthermore, through their practice artists gain an insight into how such representations are constructed. This inside knowledge may well foster a healthy scepticism in regard to mass media pictures of the world. (That the practice of art can serve as a means of spiritual resistance and as an aid to survival in conditions of oppression is most vividly demonstrated by the examples of 'Art of the Holocaust' produced by artists interned in Nazi concentration camps during World War Two, and by the Arpilleras or patchwork pictures made from scraps of cloth by the poor women of Chile following Pinochet's right-wing military coup of 1973.)