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Thread: art definition

  1. #46
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    I think the word for it is desacralization.
    "You can always find something better than death."
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bremen Town Musicians

  2. #47
    Registered User Clopin's Avatar
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    You are tilting at windmills of your own imagining, here. Serrano


    Am I? I have at least one example of this crap from my home town, a municipality of less than 10,000 permanent residents and not exactly a hub for experimental jack off art.

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/584127/posts

    Israel Mora, 33, masturbates privately into seven glass vials that he says represent seven members of his family. The vials are then placed in a cooler, which Mr. Mora currently has strung up between two trees at the Banff Centre.
    Mr. Mora is at the centre on a $4,000, seven-week residency. The government of Mexico is covering two-thirds of the cost and the Banff Centre, which receives about 22% of its $42-million budget from government funding, is covering the rest.
    Connie MacDonald, communications director for the Banff Centre, said she has no complaints about Mr. Mora's project.

    "A lot of people have this concept that art is beautiful and it hangs on the wall. What we focus on is trying to help people understand what contemporary art is. By definition it explores current issues in society and creates dialogue often on topics around poverty and death and sexuality."
    Mr. Mora teaches theory and practice in the department of Visual Arts at the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico.
    it seems more than pretentious to suggest that the government should have such control over all that such institutions do.

    Considering that the government subsidies do not amount to anywhere near the majority of the funding for such institutions, it seems more than pretentious to suggest that the government should have such control over all that such institutions do.

    I agree, get the government out all together, they don't belong together.

    Quote Originally Posted by Iain Sparrow View Post
    Another conservative rant with no substance. Something Donald Trump would say.

    The government does indeed propagate wealth through infrastructure (transportation, communication, etc, etc), standards, regulation, policing, judicial oversight, investment in new technology and innovations, product testing and safety, labor laws, and dozens more not listed.
    Iain the government does not "provide" policing or infrastructure. Where do you suppose the government gets the money to pay for roads and the salaries of cops in the first place? Government regulations more or less always get in the way of wealth production as well; not that I necessarily think of them as being bad things all the time. I don't want to see the wealth produced by humanity end up being concentrated in the hands of a tiny global minority anymore than anyone else does. Your caricature of me as some sort of neoconservative drone doesn't hold up against any of my actual views, unfortunately.
    Last edited by Clopin; 06-15-2016 at 02:08 AM.
    So with the courage of a clown, or a cur, or a kite jerkin tight at it's tether

  3. #48
    Registered User Clopin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ecurb View Post

    The government has an intrinsic role in creating wealth, because property (i.e. wealth) exists because of laws enacted and enforced by the government. If (for example) the government was Communist, individuals would be unable to amass wealth (and, based on the evidence of history, the nation as a whole would be less wealthy).
    Government laws can easily make people poorer, or obfuscate wealth creation, but the government does not create wealth itself. If for example the state government of California made it illegal to create films and forbade people from working in any technical industry then the people living in California might become a good deal poorer. If, later, the government revoked those rules and the people became wealthier again it would be totally absurd to say that the government 'created this wealth' by removing their own restrictions on filmmaking and on the technical industry. It's like saying that I built a condominium because I didn't strap myself to a bulldozer and refuse to allow construction to continue. After the condominium has been built, if the only thing I contributed to the procedure was 'not obstructing it to the point that it could not be carried out', then I don't think I have any right to say that I 'created' the building in question.

    In short, no, the government does not 'produce' wealth simply by not preventing wealth production, that would hardly fall under any reasonable definition of the term 'produce'.
    Last edited by Clopin; 06-15-2016 at 02:09 AM.
    So with the courage of a clown, or a cur, or a kite jerkin tight at it's tether

  4. #49
    Maybe YesNo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ecurb View Post
    By the way, after a few beers, I confess that I like "Piss Christ". I saw it at a museum once, in a high-quality, framed print, and it's gorgeous. I don't know anything about it's history, except that it was originally entitled "Immersion". Under that title, it looked like a crucified Jesus, floating in an ethereal and bubbling golden liquid, As a work of art it was gorgeous, but minor. A snapshot, very beautiful, evocative of, perhaps, spiritual and significant questions.

    One question: does relabeling the photo as "Piss Christ" add to, or detract from, the virtues it had as "Immersion"? I'd suggest that it may add to them, not by being blasphemous (although it is), but by adding an aesthetic question of whether "piss" (by virtue of our associations) can be beautiful, or even holy. I'm curious what other Litnetters think.

    p.s. One more thing: isn't Christ immersed in urine somewhat analogous to God, immersed in a human body? That, I think, adds to the interest of the re-naming.
    Christians could view this art in a positive way perhaps similar to the way you describe it. They have been able to interpret the crucifixion itself in a positive way for two thousand years and they have done this through the use of language. That's an amazing accomplishment marred only by blaming the Jews rather that Pilate who actually killed Jesus. The various shared death experiences reported in their sacred texts after Jesus' crucifixion justify their interpretation.

    Words are more powerful than art. I have recently read Florence Scovel Shinn's "Your Word is Your Wand" (which is available online from various sources). This is an early 20th century "metaphysical" self-help book using references to Judeo-Christian texts. With words we cast spells. Shinn advised us to cast good spells because we will pay the price ourselves for any bad spells we cast on others. The old saying, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names can never hurt me," is false.

    So, I agree with you, this art could be interpreted by Christians in a positive way if they "turned the other cheek". My modification of it by replacing the crucifix with a copy of a book by Richard Dawkins is not as easy to be seen positively. I don't want to pick on Dawkins. There are a bunch of authors I could have used. I was thinking of titling the art, "I wonder how long my urine takes to disintegrate this piss." I'll probably get my karmic butt kicked for casting bad spells.

  5. #50
    The Gnu Normal Pompey Bum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ecurb View Post
    Good one. Everyone knows Americans revere Martin Luther King (and probably George Washington and Abraham Lincoln) more than Jesus, although few know why.
    Well, I sure don't know that. And my point was that an artist who tried to pass off a "Piss Martin Luthur King" would be destroyed (metaphorically speaking--but certainly professionally) by the very social forces that defended the Piss Christ.

    Or shall we dip an image of Mohammad in urine and see how metaphorical the destruction is? Or how quick all but a few nut jobs would be to condemn it?

    I don't condemn the Piss Christ on the basis of free speech, by the way (although I do condemn it). Like most bigots, the artist simply deserves to be laughed at. As for the Piss Christ, maybe it belongs in a museum of anti-semitism. Jesus was a Jew, after all.
    Last edited by Pompey Bum; 06-15-2016 at 01:33 PM.
    And this from a man in a bunny suit.

  6. #51
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    I think this free dealing with religious and political symbols shows how much our attitude towards them has changed.
    Interference, iconoclasty and scatology are the new normal.
    Although I think, that particularly on the matter of religious reception, there are still very varied levels of reception, depending on ones level of religiosity and the meaning a certain symbol has in ones faith.
    Last edited by Danik 2016; 06-15-2016 at 09:01 PM.
    "You can always find something better than death."
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bremen Town Musicians

  7. #52
    The Gnu Normal Pompey Bum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danik 2016 View Post
    I think this free dealing with religious and political symbols shows how much our attitude towards them has changed.
    Interference, iconoclasty and escatology are the new normal.
    Although I think, that particularly on the matter of religious reception, there are still very varied levels of reception, depending on ones level of religiosity and the meaning a certain symbol has in ones faith.
    I don't think you are using the word eschatology correctly, but I suppose that's a small point. Do me a favor though and don't say "our attitude" when you mean yours. Part of this iconoclasm you mention is holding one's own view whatever "we" think about it.

    In my opinion the Piss Christ is neither new or normal. It's not new because--Christ, what's it been, 30 years? I remember those days--the Maplethorpe era you might call it. People (at least the one's I hung with) used to say that art's function was to provoke a visceral response. There's nothing new about that. Look Mommy, I threw my poo on the wall! Look Mommy, I put Jesus in pee pee! Nothing new here folks. Move along.

    And it's not normal because the whole point was not to be normal. Freedom from orthodoxy is usually something I admire, but not when it comes to new frontiers in bigotry (and immaturity). But if it's not normal it is at least--boring? You know, in the way that Internet atheists who leave posts and pictures to try to upset Christians are boring and immature. (And Christians can be just as bad--I know, I know).

    None of which is to say that the Piss Christ is not art. (See Cacian, I finally got on topic! ) I have a simple philosophy of art that is effective for me. The only excuse for art is its ability to touch something that could not have been touched without it. So when Catullus says "Give me then a hundred kisses and yet a hundred kisses more," he is touching something that any 16 year old understands during a goodnight kiss: something about not being able to get enough of your beloved--but playfully. My words can't express it. It takes art.

    In that analysis, the Piss Christ is art. Unfortunately it touches something obscene. It not only evokes the degradation and humiliation of Jesus at Golgotha, it participates in it. That is the "untouchable touched" it brings to its viewer. But art it is--perhaps even fine art. Triumph of Will was art, non?
    Last edited by Pompey Bum; 06-15-2016 at 05:23 PM.
    And this from a man in a bunny suit.

  8. #53
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    "I don't think you are using the word eschatology correctly, but I suppose that's a small point."
    Thanks for correcting me, I didnīt look it up!
    "Do me a favor though and don't say "our attitude" when you mean yours. Part of this iconoclasm you mention is holding one's own view whatever "we" think about it."
    With our attitude I wasnīt thinking neither of you nor of me nor of anyone in particular. I mean it is a general attitude towards art I observe in more recent times, particularly in the last two decades. Of course it must have existed before, but never in so an open and general way.
    "In that analysis, the Piss Christ is art. Unfortunately it touches something something obscene. It not only evokes the degradation and humiliation of Jesus at Golgotha, it participates in it. That is the "untouchable touched" it brings to its viewer. But art it is--perhaps even fine art. Triumph of Will was art, non?"
    I think you have got the point there and thatīs what I mean with scatology all along. One still effective manner of touching today is by utter degradation, by destroying any kind of untouchability and making the destruction public.
    I donīt think this summes up contemporary art, but it certainly is an important feature of it.
    Last edited by Danik 2016; 06-16-2016 at 10:27 AM.
    "You can always find something better than death."
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bremen Town Musicians

  9. #54
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    "You can always find something better than death."
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bremen Town Musicians

  10. #55
    The Gnu Normal Pompey Bum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danik 2016 View Post
    With our attitude I wasnīt thinking neither of you nor of me nor of anyone in particular. I mean it is a general attitude towards art I observe in more recent times, particularly in the last two decades. Of course it must have existed before, but never in so an open and general way.
    Oh, I understood. But it's your view. Own it. Or don't. Just don't tell me it's ours. It isn't.


    Quote Originally Posted by Danik 2016 View Post
    I think you have got the point there and thatīs what I mean with eschatology all along.
    Thank you. Eschatology is an area of theology involving the end of time, so I'm still not sure what you mean. But like I said its a small point.
    Last edited by Pompey Bum; 06-15-2016 at 08:11 PM.
    And this from a man in a bunny suit.

  11. #56
    Registered User Clopin's Avatar
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    People (at least the one's I hung with) used to say that art's function was to provoke a visceral response. There's nothing new about that. Look Mommy, I threw my poo on the wall! Look Mommy, I put Jesus in pee pee! Nothing new here folks. Move along.
    And they still say that! I wonder if you can be viscerally bored, though, because that's what all this 'shocking' crap is: boring.
    So with the courage of a clown, or a cur, or a kite jerkin tight at it's tether

  12. #57
    Ecurb Ecurb's Avatar
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    To Clopin: Wealth is defined as the accumulation of property. Property is defined by laws enacted and enforced by the government. Therefore, the government has an essential role in "creating" (whatever that means) wealth. I mean, without some form of government and law, property would not exist, and therefore wealth (at least as it is defined by us today) would not exist. This all seems obvious. We might still build houses and skyscrapers, but nobody would own them, and therefore nobody would be wealthy (as we define it today).

    To Pompey: To me the interesting thing about "Immersion" is the extent to which a change in the photo's title made it both more popular and more reviled. The picture is equally photogenic as "Immersion". In general (probably because of my literary bent) I like visual art with interesting titles.

    Of course "Piss Martin Luther King" would evoke howls of derision. In a way, it's fair (or at least courageous) to tweak the establishment with a bit of anti-establishment bigotry, but unfair (or cowardly) to tweak the oppressed. The fact that Christians are (were) no longer the establishment in the art community, however, suggests that "Piss Christ" is hardly a courageous satire. (I still think it would be a pretty, evocative picture, though, if it weren't called "Piss Christ".)
    Last edited by Ecurb; 06-15-2016 at 05:39 PM.

  13. #58
    Registered User Clopin's Avatar
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    To Clopin: Wealth is defined as the accumulation of property.
    No, not exactly.


    Full Definition of wealth
    1
    obsolete : weal, welfare
    2
    : abundance of valuable material possessions or resources
    3
    : abundant supply : profusion
    4
    a : all property that has a money value or an exchangeable value
    b : all material objects that have economic utility; especially : the stock of useful goods having economic value in existence at any one time <national wealth>
    So with the courage of a clown, or a cur, or a kite jerkin tight at it's tether

  14. #59
    Ecurb Ecurb's Avatar
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    There's no point in arguing about definitions, but Merriam-Webster's first two definitions are:
    1) a large amount of money and possessions

    2: the value of all the property, possessions, and money that someone or something has
    Given these definitions, my point stands.

  15. #60
    Registered User Clopin's Avatar
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    Whatever dude, the government can't create wealth. If you think printing money is creating wealth you can take an online course on economics or something.

    The definition that actually covers 'national wealth' might have been a little more pertinent huh?

    b : all material objects that have economic utility; especially : the stock of useful goods having economic value in existence at any one time <national wealth>
    So with the courage of a clown, or a cur, or a kite jerkin tight at it's tether

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