Advertisement

Subjectivity

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 223–241 | Cite as

Public art, affect, and radical negativity: the wall of daydreaming and man’s inhumanity to man

  • Caitlin Frances BruceEmail author
Original Article

Abstract

“The Wall of Daydreaming and Man’s Inhumanity to Man” is a mural that was painted in 1975 at 47th Street and Calumet Avenue in Chicago by William Walker, Mitchell Caton, and Santi Isrowuthakul. It depicts violence, including images of the Ku Klux Klan, Nazis, and the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. The mural was restored by Damon Lamar Reed in 2003. By analyzing discourse around the production and restoration of the mural in 1975 and 2003, this article argues that the mural functions as an example of negative-content muralism that demonstrates how negative affects, materialized and emplaced by public art, create a nodal point for questioning racial violence and neoliberal urban development that activates rhetorical agency and shapes subjectivity.

Keywords

Affect Negativity Public art Urban space Rhetorical agency Passionate forms 

References

  1. Adorno, T.W. 1997. Aesthetic Theory. London: A&C Black.Google Scholar
  2. Ahmed, S. 2004. Affective Economies. Social Text 22(2): 117–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ahmed, S. 2010. The Promise of Happiness. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Amin, A. 2008. Collective Culture and Urban Public Space. City 12(1): 5–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Anderson, M.B., and C. Sternberg. 2012. “Non-White” Gentrification in Chicago’s Bronzeville and Pilsen: Racial Economy and the Intraurban Contingency of Urban Redevelopment. Urban Affairs Review. doi: 10.1177/1078087412465590.Google Scholar
  6. Bishop, C. 2012. Artificial Hells: Participatory art and the Politics of Spectatorship. London: Verso Books.Google Scholar
  7. Blackman, L. 2012. Immaterial Bodies: Affect, Embodiment, Mediation. London: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Blackman, L., J. Cromby, D. Hook, D. Papadopoulos, and V. Walkerdine. 2008. Editorial: Creating Subjectivities. Subjectivity 22: 1–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Boyd, M. 2008. Defensive Development: The Role of Racial Conflict in Gentrification. Urban Affairs Review 43(6): 751–776.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bruce, C. 2016a. Episode III: Enjoy Poverty: An Aesthetic Virus of Political Discomfort. Communication, Culture & Critique. 9(2): 284–302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bruce, C. 2016b. Challenging National Borders and Local Genre Forms: Declaration of Immigration as Volatile Cultural Text. Public Art Dialogue 6(2): 206–227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Campbell, B. 2003. Mexican Murals in Times of Crisis. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.Google Scholar
  13. Campbell, J., and S. Pile. 2015. Passionate Forms and the Problem of Subjectivity: Freud, Frau Emmy von N. and the Unconscious Communication of Affect. Subjectivity 8: 1–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Caton, M. 1975. Forty Seventh and Calumet-Wall of Daydreaming and Man’s Inhumanity to Men. Chicago, IL: Chicago Public Art Group Archives.Google Scholar
  15. Cockcroft, E.S., J.P. Weber, and J.D. Cockcroft. 1998. Toward a People’s Art: The Contemporary Mural Movement. Tucson: University of New Mexico Press.Google Scholar
  16. Coffey, M.K. 2012. How a Revolutionary Art Became Official Culture: Murals, Museums, and the Mexican State. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Doss, E. 1992. Raising Community Consciousness with Public Art: Contrasting Projects by Judy Baca and Andrew Leicester. American Art 6(1): 63–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Flink, J. 2002. Group Fights for Public Art. Chicago Tribune, Section 9, February 20.Google Scholar
  19. Foss, S. 2006. Rhetorical Criticism as Synecdoche for Agency. Rhetoric Review 25(4): 375–379.Google Scholar
  20. Goldman, S.M. 2002. Mexican Muralism: Its Social-Educative Roles in Latin America and the United States. Aztlan 25: 281–300.Google Scholar
  21. Greene, R.W. 2004. Rhetoric and Capitalism: Rhetorical Agency as Communicative Labor. Philosophy and Rhetoric 37(3): 188–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Grosz, E. 1998. Bodies-Cities. In Places Through the Body, ed. H.J. Nast, and S. Pile, 42–51. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  23. Gude, Olivia. No Date. Olivia Gude Lecture. http://ecuip.lib.uchicago.edu/diglib/arts/public_art/lectures/olivia_gude/oliviagude_07.html. Accessed 22 June 2015.
  24. Hartman, S.V. 2002. The Time of Slavery. The South Atlantic Quarterly 101(4): 757–777.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hawley, K. 2007. Nostalgia for Bronzeville’s 47th Street. Yochicago, May 24. http://yochicago.com/bronzevilles-blues-district/5015/. Accessed 22 June 2015.
  26. Heubner, J. 1998. Wailing Walls: Mitchell Caton’s Murals had the String and Swing of Great Jazz. The Chicago Reader, February 26. http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/wailing-walls/Content?oid=895682. Accessed 22 June 2015.
  27. Jablonska, J., and L. Ehmke. 2009. The Wall of Daydreaming and Man’s Inhumanity to Man: A Chicago Mural. Vimeo. https://vimeo.com/10160112. Accessed 22 June 2015.
  28. Kelly, C.R. 2009. Women’s Rhetorical Agency in the American West: The New Penelope. Women’s Studies in Communication 32(2): 203–231.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Kester, G.H. 2004. Conversation Pieces: Community and Communication in Modern Art. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  30. LaWare, M.R. 1998. Encountering Visions of Aztlán: Arguments for Ethnic Pride, Community Activism and Cultural Revitalization in Chicano Murals. Argumentation and Advocacy 34(3): 140–153.Google Scholar
  31. LaWare, M.R., and V. Gallagher. 2007. The Power of Agency: Urban Communication and the Rhetoric of Public Art. In The Urban Communication Reader, ed. G. Burd, S. Drucker, and G. Gumpert, 161–173. New York: Hampton Press.Google Scholar
  32. Lyderson, K. 2004. Chicago’s Bronzeville is Ready for a Reprise. The Washington Post, A:03, November 6, Lexis-Nexis.Google Scholar
  33. Marling, K.A. 1982. Wall-to-Wall America: Post Office Murals in the Great Depression. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  34. Mbembé, J.-A. 2004. Aesthetics of Superfluity. Public Culture 16(3): 373–405.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. McDowell, S. 2008. Selling Conflict Heritage Through Tourism in Peacetime Northern Ireland: Transforming Conflict or Exacerbating Difference. International Journal of Heritage Studies. 14(5): 405–421.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Mitchell, W.J.T. 1990. The Violence of Public Art: “Do the Right Thing”. Critical Inquiry 16(4): 880–899.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Nelson, R.C. 1975. Forty Seventh and Calumet—Wall of Daydreaming and Man’s Inhumanity to Men. Chicago, IL: Chicago Public Art Group Archives.Google Scholar
  38. Ngai, S. 2009. Ugly Feelings. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  39. Prigoff, J., and R.J. Dunitz. 2000. Walls of Heritage, Walls of Pride: African American Mural. Robert Park, CA: Pomegranate Communications.Google Scholar
  40. Rahimi, S. 2016. Haunted Metaphor, Transmitted Affect: The Pantemporality of Subjective Experience. Subjectivity 9(1): 83–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Reed, D.L. 2003. Man’s Inhumanity to Man/Wall of Daydreaming Final Report. Chicago Public Art Group Archives, Chicago, IL.Google Scholar
  42. Rolston, B. 2012. Re-imaging: Mural Painting and the State in Northern Ireland. International Journal of Cultural Studies. doi: 10.1177/1367877912451810.Google Scholar
  43. Schuermans, N., M.P.J. Loopmans, and J. Vandenabeele. 2012. Public Space, Public Art and Public Pedagogy. Social & Cultural Geography 13(7): 675–682.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Sellers, J. 2011. The Big Picture. Chicago Weekly, May 6. http://www.chicagoweekly.org/2011/05/06/the-big-picture/. Accessed 22 June 2015.
  45. Sila Webber, C.S. 2013–2014. “C. Siddha Weber.” Never the Same. https://never-the-same.org/interviews/c-siddha-webber/. Accessed 18 Mar 2017.
  46. Stewart, K. 2007. Ordinary Affects. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Thrift, Nigel. 2010. Understanding Material Practices of Glamour. In The Affect Theory Reader, ed. M. Gregg, and G. Siegworth, 289–308. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  48. University of Chicago Internet Project. No Date. Wall of Daydreaming: Commentary. http://ecuip.lib.uchicago.edu/diglib/arts/public_art/gallery/paint/paint_wallofda.html. Accessed 22 June 2015.
  49. Weber, J.P. 2003. Politics and Practice of Community Public Art: Whose Murals Get Saved? The Getty Institute. http://getty.edu/conservation/publications_resources/pdf_publications/pdf/weber.pdf.
  50. Wetherell, M. 2012. Affect and Emotion: A New Social Science Understanding. London: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Wilson, D. 2013. Chicago’s South Side Blues Scapes: Creeping Commodification and Complex Human Response. In Geographies of Privilege, ed. F.W. Twine, and B. Gardener, 71–94. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  52. Wiltz, T. 2001. Bar Fight; Chicago Says Last Call, but the Palm Tavern’s Owner is Good for Another Round. The Washington Post, Style, C01, May 29. Lexis Nexis.Google Scholar
  53. Han, J. No Date. Letter to Nancy M. Abbate, Interim Executive Director of the Chicago Public Art Group. CPAG Archives, Chicago IL.Google Scholar
  54. Zhang, Y. 2011. Boundaries of Power: Politics of Urban Preservation in Two Chicago Neighborhoods. Urban Affairs Review 47(4): 511–540. doi: 10.1177/1078087411400376.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of CommunicationUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

Personalised recommendations