</span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Robert Kennedy @ Feb 7 2003, 09:07 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>An ethics question for all of you -
Should one apply an ethical standard to an image based on the manner in which it was taken?
Example - The work of Joel Peter Witkin. Some of you may or may not be familiar with his work...
Can one legitimately admire some fo his working knowing that the subject may very well be an unwilling participant? Especially in light of how the bodies were appropriated.
Personally, I find that one can not seperate the two. Witkin is in essence a grave robber.
To me there can be no seperation between the image and the actions of the artist here. His actions were unethical, so his art can not be admired.
What are your thoughts?
This one takes some "beating". Can I legitimately admire...? The reverse is no less daunting: Can I *Illegitimately* admire anything?
In my opinion, the act we call admiration is an aesthetic exercise --- and as such it is really not in the realm of "reasoned" (read: ethical) thought. I can be "enraptured" by a work - and that hypnotic effect is really beyond my conscious control.
Questions here rise to the surface: Does - or CAN a "Work" (whether or not it is labelled "art") stand on its own, or must it be necessarily linked to its history? Do we - or is it possible - to reserve our emotional response to a time where we investigate the factors surrounding its creation?
One of the philosopies in my life - I am not here on Earth to cause grief to anyone, for any reason. *I* would not bribe morgue attendants to photograph body parts -
But ... It is difficult for me to assume the position of Judge over the work of another.
Freedom in art is no less difficult to maintain than freedom anywhere else. There, invariably, will be those who stretch it to hell ... who, in my humble opinion, abuse it to the point where it irritates me... but then, the question arises: "What is the alternative?"
Who could we choose to "set limits" on art ... who would be able to establish limits that would not compromise *some* artists freedom? - And I am of the opinion that if ypou deny freedom to one artist, you are denying freedom to all.
Ah well - another knotty problem resulting in a rambling rant. I've got to give this more thought ... although this is one of those subjects that I do not STOP thinking about.