The Politics Of Representation
Ali Reza Sahafzadeh
Reprinted from: Honar Nameh, University of Art, Tehran, No. 27, 2005 (A brief of the article)
Using whatever definition, because art exists in society, it is a social phenomenon; it has occupied a place within the social structure and stands inevitably in relation to order social elements, regardless of the whishes of the artists.
Social Structure is built upon relations of power. Each social elements seeks the most power within the social structure, based on certain reasonable costs, norms, and values.
The clearest - if not the most important and, certainly, not the only - method of gaining or regulating power in all modern social structures is politics.
What is the relationship between art and politics, the clearest instrument and manifestation of power?
All relations are relations of power, and all works of art are political. These two premises can be an appropriate point of departure for our discussion here - even at the cost of being accused of over politicization, and apart from testing their truth at this juncture.
Politics id generally understood as the means of regulating relations of power between different individuals and groups. On the basis, any common interest in art can, in the final analysis, be defined in the framework of relations of power.
A corollary of the premise that all works of art are political is that a distinguishable entity called "Political Art" does not exist.