No Laughing Matter
Humor can be a powerful tool in the hands of both political reactionaries and progressives. The artists in this exhibition use humor subversively, as a means of undermining the dominant order or critiquing the status quo. It also offers a means of addressing social, political, and cultural issues without abandoning art for polemics or propaganda.
Humor has always been used as a medium for criticism, social commentary, and dissent. In No Laughing Matter, Nina Felshin compiles contemporary artworks which use humor as a means to convey a larger ideology or statement. From an earnest appeal from Tiffanie’s to the poor to appreciate American millionaires for all that they give (originally displayed as an advertisement in the New York Times in 1977) to Gran Fury’s Men: Use Condoms or Beat it, No Laughing Matter is a genuinely funny collection of political and social art about subjects that are really no laughing matter at all.
Felshin, Nina, No Laughing Matter, Independent Curators International (ICI), New York, 1991. 48 Pages, softcover. ISBN: 0916365336. $24.95