Sharita Towne

B. 1984, US
Continents, 2014
Video, 4′ 43″

To view the work Mt. Hood by Albert Bierstadt and to appreciate it for only for its aesthetics is to ignore the ideological structures that underwrite the work. The work of 19th century American landscape painters served to convert the natural landscape into a representation of American cultural heritage. In symbolic form the landscape painting codifies and transmits the ideological will of colonization and imperialism. Landscape painting was an instrument of social power used to naturalize social and cultural constructs and relations through which social and subjective identities are formed. Karaoking the Museum, by the collective Weird Allan Kaprow uses the form of popular songs to tell the material and social history of art through the participatory form of karaoke. Popular songs have been paired with artworks in the Portland Art Museum and have had their lyrics altered to reveal the context in which the artworks were made.

Courtesy of Sharita Towne, as part of Weird Allan Kaprow