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PHIL 347 Week 2 Discussion

Option 1: California Washington mural

What action do you believe should be taken regarding the artwork, such as painting over it, covering it up, destroying it, or leaving it as it is? Why?

Personally, I cannot fathom why these murals are still being displayed in public, particularly on high school walls. Why is that even necessary? These pieces should be destroyed or covered up because they depict slavery, prejudice, and hate, and clearly represent America’s tragic and traumatic history of racism.

What message do you think the artwork conveys?

Initially, when Victor Arnautoff created these murals, he was likely attempting to depict the historic revolutionary era of that time. While it may not have been as offensive back then, that representation is no longer valid. The artwork is brimming with political criticisms, aiming to address political controversies and events. (Mahnken 2019) Personally, I believe that the artwork makes some viewers feel uneasy.

PHIL 347 Week 2 Discussion 

Does the artwork’s historic significance necessitate its preservation regardless of the message?

No, it does not. While it is part of American history, not all historical events are worth preserving, particularly if they are as tragic and brutal as this. Our current era is one in which we seek “truth” rather than a “rosy vision,” and this is not the reality that Victor Arnautoff had envisioned.

Do you believe that the artists were biased or prejudiced? If so, what specific aspects of the artwork support your position? Do you believe that viewers may be bringing their own prejudices or biases to their opinions? Are you?

PHIL 347 Week 2 Discussion 

In my opinion, the artist exhibited bias in their work and did not intend to depict the harsh reality of living conditions, slavery, and genocide experienced by African Americans and Native Americans. (Pogash 2019) Moreover, I think that viewers’ interpretations of these murals may be influenced by their own biases and prejudices. The way they perceive the artist’s message may be subjective and influenced by their own experiences and beliefs.

Reference:

Pogash, C. (2019, April 11). These high school murals depict an ugly history. should they go?

The New York Times. Retrieved January 15, 2022, from

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/11/arts/design/george-washington-murals-ugly-history-debated.html

Mahnken, K. (2019, July 23). Censorship or student safety? plans to remove iconic mural at San

Francisco High School Spark furor. Censorship or Student Safety? Plans to Remove Iconic

Mural at San Francisco High School Spark Furor. Retrieved January 15, 2022, from

https://www.the74million.org/article/censorship-or-student-safety-plans-to-remove-iconic-mural-at-san-francisco-high-school-spark-furor/

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