Why is “Do the Right Thing” a work about Public Art? • Other examples: • Tiananmen Square (1989) • Tilted Arc (1989) • Vietnam Veterans Memorial (1982)
Public/Private Art … Symbolic/Actual Violence • Mitchell argues that these distinctions are eroding. • Historic link between public art, violence and regime change.
Kinds of Violence in Public Art • The image as an act or object of violence: either doing violence or suffering violence. • The image as a weapon of violence: attack, coercion, incitement or other “dislocations”. • The image as a representation of violence • Can be mixed: Pornography is both a representation and a weapon of violence against women.
His argument for film as public art • Film can be considered public art because of the blurring of the lines between public and private. • Private Arousal/Public Action in the example of pornography. • Differences: Public Art is stable/Film is mobile • Pacified space vs Commercial private [isolated] space. • Film uses violence as a climax.
“Do the Right Thing” as a work of public art • Not only work of “public art”, but a work about public art. • The “public image” is the “Hall of Fame” in Sal’s Pizzeria. • Sal’s response is “economic” • As is Buggin’ Out’s. • A highly realistic representation of the public images of blacks. [Representations]
Mookie’s Act • He breaks the window, which is an • Act of Violence that • Attacks a public symbol • By breaking the boundary between public and private property. • Mitchell argues that the act is about more than Mookie’s rage. • Why is it an “ethical intervention”?
“Do the Right Thing” as a work of violent public art • It is a • A REPRESENTATION of violence • An ACT of Violence • A WEAPON of Violence. • Mitchell argues that it is “intelligent violence”, both ethically and aesthetically precise. • “Daring to dream of a more humane and comprehensive sphere”