Author Topic: Attack on 'blasphemous' art work fires debate on role of religion in France  (Read 1893 times)

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Offline AxeGrrl

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i think the quotes need to go around the word 'art.' morons like this give atheists a bad name.

this guy was just a publicity whore. but i don't condone destroying someone else's private property either.

'Artists are the alarm clocks for our society' - my dad.

I think that this aspect of art is important. I prefer beautiful art that is well executed, but I also get the point of this sort of imagery.

This. In my opinion, no aesthetic qualities can make something art or not art-- art is any creative output that evokes a reaction in somebody.


*dittoing FeBolas' dittoing of Tatyana*


"Wouldn't it be much worse if life *were* fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them?' So now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe."

Offline Citizen Skeptic

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Here's what professional philosophers have to say about art - more than I wanted to know. :)

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/art-definition/

Quote
Any definition of art has to square with the following uncontroversial facts: (i) entities (artifacts or performances) intentionally endowed by their makers with a significant degree of aesthetic interest, often surpassing that of most everyday objects, exist in virtually every known human culture; (ii) such entities, and traditions devoted to them, might exist in other possible worlds; (iii) such entities sometimes have non-aesthetic — ceremonial or religious or propagandistic — functions, and sometimes do not; (iv) traditionally, artworks are intentionally endowed by their makers with properties, usually perceptual, having a significant degree of aesthetic interest, often surpassing that of most everyday objects; (v) art, so understood, has a complicated history: new genres and art-forms develop, standards of taste evolve, understandings of aesthetic properties and aesthetic experience change; (vi) there are institutions in some but not all cultures which involve a focus on artifacts and performances having a high degree of aesthetic interest and lacking any practical, ceremonial, or religious use; (vii) such institutions sometimes classify entities apparently lacking aesthetic interest with entities having a high degree of aesthetic interest.

Evidently, some of these facts are culture-specific, and others are more universal.

There are also two more general constraints on definitions of art. First, given that accepting that something is inexplicable is generally a philosophical last resort, and granting the importance of extensional adequacy, list-like or enumerative definitions are if possible to be avoided. Enumerative definitions, lacking principles that explain why what is on the list is on the list, don't, notoriously, apply to definienda that evolve, and provide no clue to the next or general case (Tarski's definition of truth, for example, is standardly criticized as unenlightening because it rests on a list-like definition of primitive denotation). (Devitt, 2001; Davidson, 2005).) Second, given that most classes outside of mathematics are vague, and that the existence of borderline cases is characteristic of vague classes, definitions that take the class of artworks to have borderline cases are preferable to definitions that don't. (Davies 1991 and 2006, Stecker 2005)

Whether any definition of art does account for these facts and satisfy these constraints, or could account for these facts and satisfy these constraints, are key questions for the philosophy of art.


I used to think of the code I wrote when I was a programmer as art sometimes, not always. Same goes for some of the deals I've done or speeches I've given. Ironically, I also play guitar but I don't consider myself an artist nor any of the noise I make art. Go figure.
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Offline Old Earth Accretionist

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A lot of people look at some modern art and say "I could do that".  My reply is "well you didn't".  ::)

I'm not going to say I look at all of those pieces and like them, I don't.  But I'm certainly not going to pretend that it isn't art in some manner just because it's simple or because I don't like it.

In this case he was making a statement with his art... and it definitely made a statement.  Thereby succeeding at his purpose in its creation.... it evoked emotions and thoughts in his viewers... something that good art should always do.  Some art has quiet emotional responses and some art, such as these, obviously do not.

And the actions of the vandals pretty much completely illustrated clearly the very behavior the artist had been commenting on in his art...

So while totally condoning their actions... I think they also totally not only missed his message but amplified it.
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Offline Citizen Skeptic

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I prefer Dante's Inferno. Now that's art! :)
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Offline Tatyana

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A lot of people look at some modern art and say "I could do that".  My reply is "well you didn't".  ::)

I'm not going to say I look at all of those pieces and like them, I don't.  But I'm certainly not going to pretend that it isn't art in some manner just because it's simple or because I don't like it.

In this case he was making a statement with his art... and it definitely made a statement.  Thereby succeeding at his purpose in its creation.... it evoked emotions and thoughts in his viewers... something that good art should always do.  Some art has quiet emotional responses and some art, such as these, obviously do not.

And the actions of the vandals pretty much completely illustrated clearly the very behavior the artist had been commenting on in his art...

So while totally condoning their actions... I think they also totally not only missed his message but amplified it.

This is one of my little pet peeves about people talking about art.

Modern art isn't any of the art that is produced today, nor is it about any of the art that has produced for the last forty years.

Modern art is defined as the work produced from 1860-1970, and includes people like Monet, Degas, Picasso, Bacon, van Gogh and Matisse.

The work in question is postmodern art.






Offline Shibboleth

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This is to art what comic strips are to literature. It is a form of literature and definitely a social commentary but are comics big "L" literature? I don't think so.
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Offline Citizen Skeptic

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This is to art what comic strips are to literature. It is a form of literature and definitely a social commentary but are comics big "L" literature? I don't think so.

I was thinking that piss christ is to art what sarah palin's book is to literature.
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Offline jaypee

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i think the quotes need to go around the word 'art.' morons like this give atheists a bad name.

this guy was just a publicity whore. but i don't condone destroying someone else's private property either.

I mean.. do you consider Gauguin an artist? Because some loon used basically the same justification as the French loons to try to destroy Two Tahitian Women which was hanging at the National Gallery because it showed boobs. When people try to enforce their strict view of art we wind up with no art.

Oh, and PS.. Aren't all artists by definition publicity whores? You rarely see people creating art for personal consumption. All artists crave attention and recognition.
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Offline Shibboleth

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My favorite piece of art is... Saturno devorando a su hijo... but I don't know how much I would consider it art if someone pooped on a globe of Saturn and ate it.

Could you take something beautiful, piss all over it, put it on film, and call it art? I guess so but I don't know how much the latest Indiana Jones movie has to do with this topic.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2011, 12:47:07 PM by Shibboleth »
common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.

Offline Citizen Skeptic

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i think the quotes need to go around the word 'art.' morons like this give atheists a bad name.

this guy was just a publicity whore. but i don't condone destroying someone else's private property either.

I mean.. do you consider Gauguin an artist? Because some loon used basically the same justification as the French loons to try to destroy Two Tahitian Women which was hanging at the National Gallery because it showed boobs. When people try to enforce their strict view of art we wind up with no art.

Oh, and PS.. Aren't all artists by definition publicity whores? You rarely see people creating art for personal consumption. All artists crave attention and recognition.

yes, by my criteria i consider gauguin an artist. one that i like actually. i'm not proposing that any restrictions be imposed on art. i see it much like free speech and free thought. plus anything can stir a debate in france. i used to work for a french guy who used to argue with me all the time even if he agreed. he would call me to his office to "debate" something. i asked him what the deal was one day and he explained to me with a smile that "debating" was the national french pastime.

yeah, all artists are publicity whores to some degree. and we all have a little whore inside us. :)
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Offline jaypee

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i think the quotes need to go around the word 'art.' morons like this give atheists a bad name.

this guy was just a publicity whore. but i don't condone destroying someone else's private property either.

I mean.. do you consider Gauguin an artist? Because some loon used basically the same justification as the French loons to try to destroy Two Tahitian Women which was hanging at the National Gallery because it showed boobs. When people try to enforce their strict view of art we wind up with no art.

Oh, and PS.. Aren't all artists by definition publicity whores? You rarely see people creating art for personal consumption. All artists crave attention and recognition.

yes, by my criteria i consider gauguin an artist. one that i like actually. i'm not proposing that any restrictions be imposed on art.

Well, you sort of are here:

i think the quotes need to go around the word 'art.'
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Offline Old Earth Accretionist

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A lot of people look at some modern art and say "I could do that".  My reply is "well you didn't".  ::)

I'm not going to say I look at all of those pieces and like them, I don't.  But I'm certainly not going to pretend that it isn't art in some manner just because it's simple or because I don't like it.

In this case he was making a statement with his art... and it definitely made a statement.  Thereby succeeding at his purpose in its creation.... it evoked emotions and thoughts in his viewers... something that good art should always do.  Some art has quiet emotional responses and some art, such as these, obviously do not.

And the actions of the vandals pretty much completely illustrated clearly the very behavior the artist had been commenting on in his art...

So while totally condoning their actions... I think they also totally not only missed his message but amplified it.

This is one of my little pet peeves about people talking about art.

Modern art isn't any of the art that is produced today, nor is it about any of the art that has produced for the last forty years.

Modern art is defined as the work produced from 1860-1970, and includes people like Monet, Degas, Picasso, Bacon, van Gogh and Matisse.

The work in question is postmodern art.

I admit that I used the term loosely... but I know a small amount of art history, simply through the virtue of having been raised by two artists (i.e. no formal training/learning)... and if I'm not mistaken Monet and Degas are impressionists van Gogh is a post-impressionist... and I'm not entirely sure that you can give a specific label to all of  Picasso's work as it spanned a large number of styles over the years but he likely fits well into the modern art bracket.  I don't know much about Francis Bacon's work apart from his name so I can't speak for him.  But I'm fair certain that while the modern art movement may have been influenced by the likes of Monet, Degas and van Gogh... they were not in fact part of the modern art movement.

I appreciate the clarification on my sloppy use of the term modern art and freely admit that I should have used contemporary or as you suggested post-modern.  But I'm fairly sure that most of your artist examples do not fit the definition... when I think modern art I think of Duchamp and the like.
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Offline Drunken Idaho

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This is one of my little pet peeves about people talking about art.

Modern art isn't any of the art that is produced today, nor is it about any of the art that has produced for the last forty years.

Modern art is defined as the work produced from 1860-1970, and includes people like Monet, Degas, Picasso, Bacon, van Gogh and Matisse.

The work in question is postmodern art.


Can people not also use "modern art" to mean "contemporary art?" I'm pretty sure that the Museum of Modern Art in NYC contains art that has been produced in the past forty years. Are you going to write to them and tell them they're not supposed to have postmodern art inside, because their name clearly says "modern" art?

Reminds me of the people complaining about the use of "classical music" to mean anything other than music from the Classical era. Shostakovich and Handel both composed classical music, though they did so in the 20th Century and Baroque musical eras, respectively. Haydn wrote classical music in the Classical era.

I'm jumping on you because it seemed clear to me that OEA was referring to art that is probably contemporary, not art that is necessarily from the modern movement. Also, I genuinely enjoy pedantic arguments.

This is to art what comic strips are to literature. It is a form of literature and definitely a social commentary but are comics big "L" literature? I don't think so.


I was thinking that piss christ is to art what sarah palin's book is to literature.


lol. Nah, I don't think piss Christ guy was out to make a quick buck... I think he was just trying to make waves.

". . . artists have always been in the business of conquering 'territory that hitherto has been taboo'".
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Offline Citizen Skeptic

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Well, you sort of are here:

i think the quotes need to go around the word 'art.'

i was expressing an opinion. i would not protest the showing of piss christ anywhere. if the museum thinks its art, that's their decision. they apparently thought it was worthwhile as did many others. i also would not walk five minutes to see it.

the message about organized religion just doesn't jump out at me. if i were to make a similar message, i would have chosen a nice white porcelain low flow toilet and put the crucifix in it. the message - "religion should be flushed down the toilet." but then i'm not an artist so it wouldn't be art. :)

edit: fixed quote meta tags
« Last Edit: April 25, 2011, 10:36:26 PM by Citizen Skeptic »
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Offline pandamonium

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All art that pushes boundaries pisses people off and is bemoaned by the current generation of art critics. That's what art critics do - they bemoan. :P

A prime example is Van Gogh - he was unsuccessful as an artist while alive, but is now considered a master. Which, imo, is the most tragic thing about his life. Sure, he was crazy, but to pour that much of yourself out... and not just not get recognized, but get shat upon. The episode of Doctor Who which featured a fictitious account of Van Gogh made me cry for that reason.

Anyway, art is pretty much that quote Citizen found from Stanford. It's something created with intention. That's one of the reasons we have a hard time pinning down when the first art showed up in human development. Arrowheads and adzes were created with intention, but should toolmaking (a type of craft) be considered art? There are entire angsty threads on the etsy forums about this. Believe me, you don't want to get into that sort of discussion.

The thing is, I can recognize something as being art without getting my panties in a twist and having to put air quotes around it because I don't like it. I can separate my personal opinions about what kind of art I like from my slightly more objective critiquing of a piece of artwork. I don't actually care for most modern art (which, btw, is an appropriate usage - Modern art is a specific genre, but modern art is synonymous with contemporary art. Capitalization makes a difference.). I absolutely hate Rothko - but I've learned that just disliking a piece of art doesn't mean it's not art.

andrew, btw, you've completely missed the point of art with your little "a computer can break it down and do it for you" rant. While it's true that I can paint with acrylic on my computer, it's a completely different skill set from painting with actual acrylic on actual canvas. For one thing, there are a million-fold more variables when working with actual materials - humidity, temperature, time, pressure, quality of paint, quality of canvas, quality of brush, etc. Computers can't simulate those sorts of things yet. I suspect it's the same for music.

Someone made an analogy about comics and literature. Well, lemme tell you, there is some absolute garbage literature out there and some damn fine comic strips, too. Calvin and Hobbes > The Scarlet Letter, for instance. Comics get a bad rap. So does a lot of contemporary art.

The problem is that art is a cultural thing, and as such, it gets taught to us. Making art is something that humans tend to do anyway, but the the form our art takes (eg, realism, surrealism, abstract, etc) is taught to us. We great Western peoples tend to favor realism. There are different kinds of realism, though; Greek realism is waaaay totally different from Roman realism which is waaaay totally different from Italian Rennaissance realism which is waaaay totally different from Rococo realism. Most Modern, Postmodern and contemporary art is a way of unlearning the habits we've had for the past few centuries and really figuring out what we can do. Art is so much more than realistically portraying a flower or a tree or a face.

The intention of the artist is more important that you'd think. Sometimes is helps to read why an artist felt compelled to dunk a crucifix in his own piss, or why he painted the eyes on the bottom of the face. It gives you a perspective. Art isn't created in a vacuum - it needs context. If you look at this:

and just see a pretty picture, you're missing more than half the story.

It's easy to scoff at something you don't understand. I get it - I used to scoff at art I didn't like because I didn't understand it. Studying the intentions behind certain art movements (such as modern abstract art) has gotten me over myself. Trying to imitate a Big Name artist gives you a bit of perspective, too. I've had to copy a couple of master artists now, and it's really quite difficult. One of my fellow students in my acrylic painting class made the decision to copy a Jackson Pollack for the Copy a Master project. She said, when we were presenting our final works, that she'd picked Pollack because she thought he'd be easy, but the opposite was true. Like it or leave it, Pollack had a technique. He developed it, and was master of it. His work is hard to duplicate for that reason. Most artists who are considered to be masters fall into that category - they are hard to duplicate. They have a style.

This has gone on for entirely too long, so I'll leave it here. Again, art isn't just the stuff you like. Art is all the stupid shit you hate, too, because hating something means that the artist got you to feel something and that's really all we care about - getting people to care about what we do.

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