Piece of Shit?…oooo Shocking
Cliff has a question on his blog about Art and the Avant Garde, in which he questions ìDo we really need more art whose sole purpose is to “shock”? Whose truth is that “life is ugly,” or that “religion is oppression”? It’s all so hip, trendy and cool. Which means it’s all so bourgeois.î
I struggle with the question of what is the purpose of art on a daily basis.
ìDo we really need more art whose sole purpose is to ëshockí?îówell, yes and noÖhow is that for being vague. I believe the purpose of art is to cause controversy and ìshockîÖto make the outside observe stand back and take a look at a different point of view. Art should be a refection of what the particular Artist sees, and thus, creating a mirror of their world. What they see is not necessarily what the average person would see. The debate comes about over what is perceived and what is meant. That is the fun of Art. It is the Artist whose truth is saying ìlife is uglyî, or that ìreligion is oppression.î
The problem with art is that what was once considered ground breaking because of its shock value has since become so commonplace and ìacceptedîÖcommercialized. Why did the Artist spread feces on the Madonna? I am not sure, and I would have thought that since there was all the controversy over that particular piece that he would have come forward to give his insight, but no. Now, I do not think an Artist has to explain a thing, but on the other hand it rubs me the wrong way.
(You see, I deal with this issue when I talk to my mom about the shows I am producing or performing in. She asks if there is swearing, and of course yes there isÖand usually violence, drug use, smoking (everything she does not approve of). She asks if I have forgotten how I was raised, and no I have not. But, it is my job to reflect the world as it is and these things are a part of it, if I offend someoneÖgoodÖwhy are they offended? What is it that gives them an uneasy feeling? Maybe it is because they are force to see something for the fist time and now have to deal with the reality that maybe, just maybe, things are not as they seem, and their little bubble has burst. My hope is that when this happens they may actually act upon what disturbs them and do a positive thing.)
Back to the point. I think the ìshock valueî of art has since lost most of its meaning because of the discussion about these shocking pieces has changed from trying to digest meaning to complaing about the media of the piece. So, since and Artist can get press by putting a Cross in jar of piss and thus it is talked about and everyone wants to see it it becomes hip and cool to do that. And in agreement with Cliff bourgeois.
Ah, the tumultuous part of living in this post-modern ageÖthat is a whole ënother discussion for another time.
Good Lord that is a long and rambling blogÖand it makes complete sense to me.