chapter  8
12 Pages

Now I Know Why Disability Art is Drowning in the River Lethe (with thanks to Pierre Bourdieu)

ByPaul Anthony Darke

I start this chapter by giving an overview of Disability Arts as it is now and compare this with what it initially could have been. I will also make some comments on the reality of funding and what funders’ actual aims are for Disability Art. I then move on to the ideas of Pierre Bourdieu, linking them directly to Disability Arts, to show how and why Disability Art has been negated as a potentially significant art practice in contemporary art culture in the UK (and, most likely, in other cultures as well). I argue that Disability Art has had such significance because it has the potential, as we will see, to deconstruct the images which society creates through its art and other hegemonies of normality. Such hegemonies legitimise society’s own sense of what is ‘good’ art, a ‘normal’ body and a ‘vibrant’ culture.