What a difference a Myth makes

I am still not really up to discussing my confrontation with the gun-wielding ‘educators’ on campus yesterday. Sure there have been a few reports of the interaction in local media and friends have told me that I was on the news last night, but for the purposes of this post I am still processing the event and want to make sure that I weigh my account responsibly. That said, today I want to reflect on the class that I was late for thanks to the confrontation (I kept saying to the reporters and the gunslingers that I had to leave as I had to teach): Art 4004/5004: Drawing Ideas (with artist and professor Suzanne Silver). The students in the class were presenting the last of their assignments after a semester in which they engaged with Plato’s philosophy and the process of drawing. Before yesterday there had been assignments on the topics of Form, Idea, Mimesis, Dialogue (one project from which I posted about a few days ago) and Pleasure. Their final assignment was on the topic of Myth and specifically how one single drawing or work could some function in a comparable way to how Plato uses myth in his dialogues, specifically his Republic and the concluding Myth of Er. We also asked the students to think about ideas of myth, truth and falsehood and the myth of the artist. Below are some photos of their projects, ranging from myths from other cultures, critiques of art education, personal myths and social media, as well as several works that re-worked earlier projects into sophisticated investigations into the myth of the artist. There were also some projects that engaged directly with Plato’s work, from his myths (e.g. the Cave) as well as his ideas about desire. While I spent most of the class feeling nauseous from my heated run-in with armed-activists, as the class progressed, from work to work, myth to myth, I slowly started to gain some perspective, and finally, a distinct sense of hope that only the freedom of art, creativity and thinking can give us during these very dark times.

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