How do we deal with cultural materials that no longer suit our needs/beliefs/political inclinations? Over the summer, a school board in San Francisco voted to cover up, but not paint over, a series of WPA era murals depicting George Washington, which include scenes that some viewers now consider offensive. While the removal of school murals and confederate statues is a very current issue, in truth human beings have been destroying visual culture for as long as we have been creating it. This lecture by Marta Ameri, assistant professor of art, presents case studies of destruction from different periods in history. Each instance is seen as a reflection of social, religious, or political changes that alter the relationship between the viewer and the image, leading to an intentional or unintentional devaluation of the image.
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