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  1. #11

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    lee,

    I am not sure I understand. Are you saying Witkin doesn't have intent to make you feel something? It seems like he's long on intent, and pretty focused on a very short list of feelings to evoke. And not the usual feelings.

    dgh
    David G Hall

  2. #12
    lee
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    If you say so. I don't want to waste my time discussing this pig any more. You can have all the respect for him you want if that is what you want. You can see all the intent you want. This is the most typing about this sort of drivel I have ever done.

    lee\c

  3. #13
    RAP
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    Then what happens to all the war photographs of carnage? Before the start the reality of the photographic process was discovered, war was glorified, glamorized, romanticized in paintings. Brave, courageous generals on powerful steeds slaying and crushing the enemy undr foot are on display in musuems all around the world.

    Then the photojournalist came on the scene. Who was it, Mathew Brady and his images of the Civil War? Those photos must have been shocking the first time they were published for a public auidience. Since then, WWII and WWII, Vietnam, Korean and many others have been fought and the photojournalist has rcorded all the reality of thousands of horrors.

    The Holocost of WWII is probably a perfect example. Images of the German atrocities, of Jews, Slavs, Jehovah's Witnesses are now on public display in the Holocost Museum in Washington DC. Why? To educate the public as to what happened. Imagesof piles of emaciated bodies, buthered in gas chambers, starved into scarecrows. Are these displayed for shock purposes or to educated? If someone is shocked, horrified, saddened at the sight of such human perversions, I would think that would indicate someone who has a good moral conscience.

    So then what would be the difference between images of of humans deformed by war, or birth defects? Both can be shocking. But to display them to educate, inform poeple is proper.

    You want to talk about images that are displayed for shocking purposes, what about all the so called artistic nudes? Where do you draw the line on art vs pornography, vs even child pornography which is illegal.
    Time & tides wait for no one, especially photographers.

  4. #14
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (RAP @ Feb 10 2003, 03:58 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>Then what happens to all the war photographs of carnage?
    Are these displayed for shock purposes or to educated?&nbsp; If someone is shocked, horrified, saddened at the sight of such human perversions, I would think that would indicate someone who has a good moral conscience.

    You want to talk about images that are displayed for shocking purposes, what about all the so called artistic nudes?&nbsp; Where do you draw the line on art vs pornography, vs even child pornography which is illegal.</td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
    There are even more example of shock in art.
    I went to my bookcase ... St. Sebastian is a martyr used as a subject in a number of classical works ... from "Art Treasures of the National Gallery London" - commenting on "St. Sebastian", by Matteo Di Giovanni, ca. 1475:
    "At least twelve arrows are imbedded in the Saint, for he was shot with arrows before execution".
    Not a pleasant image. Not intended to be a pleasant image - and most probably done with the intent of promoting a particular emotion.

    My point is that "pleasantness" is not, necessarily, a pre-requisite for art. After all, some Crucifixes .. accurate images of someone dying a most horrible death on the cross - are some of the most significant works of art man has ever made.

    Pornography ... whoo ...&#33;&#33;&#33;

    This is an opening for the widest variety of opinons imaginable ... I have heard everything from "It should not even be consideration in art" to "The exposure of ANY flesh below the chin (come to think of, those who support the wearing of Burkhas are even more intense) is absolutely disgusting pornography."

    I don&#39;t know what it is ... If the Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States, in all their "augustness", couldn&#39;t figure it out, what chance do *I* have?
    My opinon:- When I see *any* viable evidence (Please&#33;&#33; - NOT "everyone knows") I will be against it. Until then, I&#39;m not going to burn out my internal fuses trying to force others into limiting their art.

    An interesting study would be the elimination of pornography laws in Scandinavia - around the mid 1970&#39;s(?). The guardians of the public morality were outraged - this would be the end of all civilization - the would be a holocaust of sexual crimes - no woman wold be safe on the streets ...
    What happened? - The polar oposite -- Pornographic magazines were flying of the shelves for about a month - and then died. The crime statistics were closely monitored ... there was an immediate REDUCTION in all sexually related crimes - and all violent crime. The incidence of rapes dropped dramatically.

    In light of the cause and effect - dare I say it? Apparently the change - to the easy availablity of out-and-out pornography - was a - gasp - good thing&#33;

    I&#39;ve often wondered about our value system - where pornographic videos are tightly restricted to "behind the swinging doors" - and ONLY FOR THOSE OVER EIGHTEEN"; and "The 40 Faces of Death" - actual scenes of horrible deaths of human beings - and "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" - are available to every impressionable twelve-year-old.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  5. #15

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    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (David Hall @ Feb 9 2003, 07:54 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> Jorge (and others),

    Just because you wouldn&#39;t put something on your wall doesn&#39;t make it Not Art, does it? I go back to what I said originally...isn&#39;t art supposed to make you feel something, as it evoked emotion for it&#39;s creator originally? Maybe not the same emotion or feeling, but emotion nonetheless?

    dgh </td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
    Absolutely, but just because the images are unusual and concerned with the morbid and purient side of our nature does not make them art either.

    If we follow your reasoning then the body by the side of the street that has just been run over is art. Most people slow down and try to look, out of morbid curiosity, but I bet not many would like to put it in their front lawn.

    Like I said, is not that he has done this. But that he has done it and keeps doing it without his work evolving. See one of his pictures and you have seen them all....The first one might have been art, the rest are just morbosity dressed up as art..

  6. #16

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    My comment on this is that everyone assumes that "art" is one and the same for everyone--something eternal, like a Platonic idea. I maintain that art is a purely subjective phenomenon. What is art for one person may well be garbage for another. I have seen what some consider pornography that I personally feel is art. I have seen the Mark Rothko paintings at the MLK memorial in Houston (for which an incredible sum was paid), but I think they are garbage. Even if there is such a thing as "significant form," as articulated by Susanne K. Langer, it relies on a subjective "feeling" being evoked in the percipient, which "feeling" can only be subjective and may therefore differ from one subject to another. The "feeling" evoked may be rapture or revulsion. I have no doubt that for some people Joel Peter Witkin&#39;s work is high art--I appreciate some of it myself.

  7. #17

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    Thanks, Robert, for starting this topic. Even before I saw Jorge&#39;s first response, Serrano&#39;s "Christ in Piss" came to mind. As a believing Catholic, I found Serrano&#39;s work to be extremely offensive. But, except for it&#39;s shock value, his work is throughly mediocre, and therefore, transitory,as well.

    I, respectfully, disagree with Ed, about the subjective relativism of art. Art like Philosophy, Theology or Literature often (mostly) responds to events, i.e., is topical. As an example, Philosophy, after the Renaissance, increasingly became concerned with examinations of Scientific Method and Phenomenology, to the point, in the early 20th century, Philosophy was mostly about epistemology. Socrates question, What is the good?" was just as relevant, it just wasn&#39;t being asked. Metaphysics, queries concerning the transcendent, eternally part of Philosophy were being ignored. Most of art, too, responds its time and circumstances. Most of it is transitory, but the great non-subjective work is not. Think Pieta, Stary Nights, Mona Lisa, Cantebury Tales, and maybe, Clearing Winter Storm.

    Great art, though created in time, is that which outlasts the subjective and temporal evaluation. Serrano&#39;s "work", whatever the immediate impact, will be forgotten very quickly.

    Take care,
    Tom

  8. #18

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    I think that we are ignoring the role of artwork as a type of social commentary. Although it isn&#39;t very useful out of context(except for a historical perspective), it does have life in its own time. Take for instance the anti-natzi artwork in the netherlands, or the pro-communist artwork of the soviet union (often with hidden anti-communist sentiments).

    All though I haven&#39;t seen any of Witkin&#39;s work, I am guessing that he is challenging the unhealthy and somewhat bizzare judeo-christian views on death that is prevelant in america.

    If everyone was only interested in making &#39;Great Art&#39; and &#39;Great Music&#39;, the world would be a pretty boring and stiff place. Sometimes it&#39;s more fun to play with our inadaquecies than with the idea that we are made in God&#39;s image.
    art is about managing compromise

  9. #19
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Tom Duffy @ Feb 10 2003, 12:08 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> ... (Serrano&#39;s)... work is throughly mediocre, and therefore, transitory,as well.

    ...&nbsp; Most of it is transitory, but the great non-subjective work is not. Think Pieta, Stary Nights, Mona Lisa, Cantebury Tales, and maybe, Clearing Winter Storm.
    Great art, though created in time, is that which outlasts the subjective and temporal evaluation. Serrano&#39;s "work", whatever the immediate impact, will be forgotten very quickly.

    </td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
    I will agree that time is a greater test for art than the opinion of contemporary critics. After all, Van Gogh&#39;s work was considered to be "mediocre" during his time - but our evaluation is certainly different now.
    Serrano&#39;s work may - or may not withstand the test of time ... It is very difficult for us, as contemporary critics, to fortell the future.

    I&#39;m trying to understand the concept of "non-subjective art". Is this meant to describe works that are devoid of the emotional influences and human biases of the artist?

    If so, I cannot think of a "great work" that fits. If humanity, and emotion is absent, to me, the work is a lifeless design -- and not what I conceive as "art".

    Certainly, Van Gogh&#39;s "Starry Night" is tremedously emotional and impressionistic. I think of that when I look at the night sky and try to imagine the person who saw the stars like that -- in myriads of swirling patterns.

    Or am I misunderstanding the idea of "non-subjective art"?
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  10. #20
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