Provoking Democracy makes an exciting and compelling new argument: that democracies require art-challenging art-to ensure that they are acting as free societies. In the twentieth century, democratic societies turned to dissenting and unpopular artists such as Jackson Pollock, Bertolt Brecht, D. H. Lawrence, and 2 Live Crew to prove their commitment to freedom from majority rule. Author Caroline Levine shows how artists in the tradition of the avant-garde may once again prove to be effective catalysts for contemporary change. Moving beyond debates over obscenity, public funding, and censorship, Provoking Democracy gets at art's value and purpose in democratic societies, concluding that the most rebellious artists need the protection of the democratic state, just as the freest and fairest democracies need the provocations of art.
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