Posts Tagged ‘ethics and aesthetics

Art and Morals (Plus a Debate About Street Dogs I)

with 14 comments

Can anyone do everything in the name of art? Alina is researching this problem. And I think it is a serious one. The „artist” Guillermo Vargas Habacuc starved a dog to death – that was his greatest artwork! Read the news in Romanian here, and in English here and here.

Now I cannot say that an artwork cannot be considered a real work of art unless it complies with general moral principles (generally speaking: unless the artist didn’t do immoral things in order to create the work, and unless the subject treated in an artwork is also morally treated). I cannot say this, and those who do claim such a thing make a great confusion between moral standards and aesthetical standards. You cannot say that an artwork is not aesthetically valuable just because it is morally unacceptable; conversely, you cannot say that an action is morally unacceptable just because it is aesthetically not valuable.

Does this mean that there is no relation between art and morals? Of course not. The artist, as everybody else, is constrained in his artistic and non-artistic actions by moral and legal norms. You are not allowed to make an artwork if, by doing it, you cause pain to a particular being.

Now unfortunatelly, this „artwork” I am talking about here is both immoral and aethetically not valuable. It is only ablut crime and stupidity. The crime of torturing a sentient being just for fun – and the great amount of stupidity of that so-called artist.

Written by Andrei Stavilă

martie 28, 2008 at 5:52 pm