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hooks, bell. Art on My Mind: Visual Politics
1995, The New Press
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Added by: Quentin Pharr and Clotilde Torregrossa
Publisher’s Note: In Art on My Mind, bell hooks, a leading cultural critic, responds to the ongoing dialogues about producing, exhibiting, and criticizing art and aesthetics in an art world increasingly concerned with identity politics. Always concerned with the liberatory black struggle, hooks positions her writings on visual politics within the ever-present question of how art can be an empowering and revolutionary force within the black community.

Comment (from this Blueprint): How we "consume" and why we "consume" certain aesthetic objects, as well as value them, is under critical scrutiny in this selection from hooks. She is particularly worried about conceptions and the consumption of what is beautiful when both are heavily influenced by negative social environments, such as pre-established standards based on classist, sexist, or racist power structures. She is also concerned with pointing out that, when we abide by certain power structures in what we consider beautiful objects and worthy of consumption, we often miss out on a great deal of beautiful things which are right before our eyes in everyday circumstances. In light of her discussion, we would do well to think about what might be influencing our conceptions of what is beautiful and how and why we consume beauty as we do.

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