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The primary medium for artist Laurie Jo Reynolds is that of political lobbying. She refers to her practice as “legislative art,” adapting the term “legislative theater,” a technique for grassroots lawmaking developed and coined by Brazilian director and playwright Augusto Boal, who both founded the Theater of the Oppressed and served as a member of the Rio city government from 1993 to 1997. By linking the discourses of art and law, Reynolds’ practice can be understood as a form of education, highlighting the restrictions required for creativity, and the possibilities afforded by structure. In my essay I bring together European political theory, modern American politics, and contemporary conceptual art in order to magnify the possibilities of what Friedrich Schiller called “aesthetic education.” While other scholars have understood art and art education as a process of pleasurable exploration, or formal disciplinary explication, I hope to suggest a way of engaging art education as an intellectual pursuit with open-ended political possibilities.


Art education, political theory, Laurie Jo Reynolds, solitary confinement, Tamms, conceptual art

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© 2016 Albert Stabler

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