October 25, 2017 09:23 PM

Chandigarh (Face2News)

Shirley Siegal, an artist, archaeologist and lecturer from Israel  spoke on the topic Can Art Change The world at the Department of  Art History and Visual Arts, Panjab University on Wednesday. In a thought provoking and engaging talk she focussed on certain seminal  works of art from around the world to highlight how art can be transformational, iconic in its message and influence the course of  events.

Starting with the installation by the American artist Michael Murphy titled Gun Country she spoke of how an artwork becomes a catalyst of  generating discussion on the continually topical issue of gun control  in the US. Taking up works such as 1600 pandas done in paper mache  by the French artist Paulo Grangeon she underlined how this travelling exhibition launched in 2008 has not only brought focus on endangered species around the world but also generated funds for the WWF.

Talking of Guernica  now housed in Madrid, its iconic position as an anti-war statement, with a replica in the UN headquarters, was employed to underline how this work continues to remind us of the horrors of war, and that when the US announced the  war on Iraq then got the painting covered by a blue cloth.

She highlighted the significance of Norman Rockwell painting The Problem We All Live with that has immortalized the historic moment of the beginning of the end of racial segregation in schools in the  US, and its pivotal place in the narrative of the Civil Rights movement in the US.

The same painting shown being viewed by Barrack Obama in the white house marked another iconic moment underlining how the painting continues to carry deep meaning in contemporary times. She then went on the speak about her current work which is the travelling art project done in collaboration with the Chandigarh artist Madan Lal that is currently on display in the Museum of Fine Arts in Panjab University. The interactive talk was well attended by  students and faculty from various departments of the University and affiliated colleges. 


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