pornography's place in art galleries Term Paper

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There has been heated debate about the act of exhibiting particular art works in art galleries. Arguments from the music critic Samuel Lipman and the House Representative Mayor Owens illustrate how ferocious one's ideals about the placement of art can get. Because of its subjective or highly personal nature, it has been difficult to decide the extent of an invisible line that separates "good" art from "bad" art. Lipman illustrated how going beyond this fictitious line would be seen as defiant and immoral. Alternatively, Major Owens says that art is freedom of expression; therefore, art policy cannot have constraints, and funding for all art should continue through the National Endowment for the Arts, a government-run agency. Understand, both opinions appear to be slanted to the extremes, so if a compromise in moderation could be met, art will prosper within a newer and greater level.

In the article written by Samuel Lipman, he explains how certain pieces of art, which have a basis on shock value ahead of general artistic characteristics, need to be curbed by the galleries. The galleries can control the exhibition of this tasteless art through the use of private resources. Outsourcing to a private institution, a move untraditionally done by museums since they are difficult to maintain, gives them power to choose without an interfering government. (And avoid people who resent actions similar to the Corcoran Gallery.) Lipman says that privatizing museums will preclude the insidious corruption of our society--and of greater importance our children--in order to develop our culture. Lipman descriptively expresses his disapproval of art, such as Mapplethorpe (images that show reckless sexual behavior), with an ethical and moral argument. After getting a glimpse of these racy photographs, I cannot help but to agree with Lipman. Mapplethorpe's pictures have a condescending tone, lessening the value and worth of human beings. Most are pictures of people being violated, not the everyday photograph. However, to someone this is art, and for that mere fact it should be allowed to be viewed in our galleries. But just like pornography, art that resembles Mapplethorpes's should have specific laws preventing children of a certain age from viewing these pictures. If this art has to be seen, it should be placed in the deepest, darkest corner of a gallery, where people who want to see it will have to look for their flavor of the month.

In the excerpt given by House Representative Mayor Owens, he gives passage to all types of art, whatever it may be. We are told that art is not meant to be cut-and-dry, but that it should be in the likeness of society. Owens says that it's the artist's judgement, not the decision of some legislature, to choose the content of the art. Then he illustrates how someone's lifestyle can affect the way their art turns out; therefore, if the artist does something, it's something that reflects their life. From extreme violence to outright gruesome, as long as it has a cause, would be considered Owens' art--art that he describes vaguely and gives few examples of.

Art is given its name "art" because of the unparalleled experience that art entails. The act of creation is art. Certain works of art could be taken into account as "risque" or even crude. But the government should not regulate it; that would be giving it too much unnecessary power. Also, people should not expect too much from the government, because that, too, leads to unwarranted power. From the onset for the National Endowment for the Arts, it began at a very volatile and inexperienced period of history. Up until now, many of the limits have been tried. But now, with people knowing what they want and what they do not want, decision-making needs to be put back into the hands of the people. Excluding art believed to be inappropriate, controlling the flux of this type of offensive art through the use of private resources is a good idea. But we also need a place where this type of art can be seen, because in all its crudeness it still is a basic part of history.

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