Author Topic: Ethical question about art.  (Read 5876 times)

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Ghostboy

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Ethical question about art.
« on: April 28, 2005, 05:51:06 PM »
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I wrote a short essay on my blog about this subject, and thought I'd extend it here.

Basically -

 - what is your response to a work of art like this:



Or this:



Or, for that matter, the killing of the donkey in the (now excised) scene from Manderlay (I recall that JB and Kotte had an interesting debate on the matter in that film's thread).

In other words: how do you feel about animals being killed for the sake of art?

meatball

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Ethical question about art.
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2005, 05:56:24 PM »
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I think the artists should volunteer their own bodies in the name of art.

Ghostboy

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Ethical question about art.
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2005, 06:02:00 PM »
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Quote from: Meatball
I think the artists should volunteer their own bodies in the name of art.


With that in mind, to add fuel to the (anticipated) fire, here's another example I used in my essay:



How would you compare this, ethically and artistically, to the images and overall dilemma I presented in my first post?

meatball

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Ethical question about art.
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2005, 06:04:59 PM »
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Equally as disgusting.

Pozer

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Ethical question about art.
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2005, 06:59:28 PM »
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it's not art

cowboykurtis

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Ethical question about art.
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2005, 07:09:53 PM »
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i read your essay - i may have missed the answer within the text - regarding the animal pictures; were they specifically killed for the peices or aquired after their death and used as art? theres obviously a large difference, but in essence, that difference should not be taken into consideration when discussing the content in and of itself.

In the contrast of the animal pictures we have that of the stitched up woman - this was obviously more of a documentarian image capture - at least i hope one didn't cut that woman's stomach open for that picture. however i feel all is relative - one's position on this moral dilema can not be absolute. If one films a cow being slaughtered, I for one, would very much enjoy and appreciate viewing that image  - Now, if that artist was to orchestrate the slaughtering of the cow to acheive that same image, I would not enjoy/appreciate it any less. Just as with film, i judge the art, not the means or personalites behind it (i.e. who created it and why).

many people change their positions on art and film based on their inherent judgements and/or knowledge of the creator. for instance: that filmmaker seems like a little brat or this artist is gay or that painter used human blood,on and on. the art should not be judged out of the immediate context of the image/story/statement.

I don't think moralitly really has a place in art. If one finds out that a film they embrace and respect was created by an "immoral" person using "immoral" practices to create that said film, it doesn't and shouldn't change or discredit their innitial response to that work.
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Ghostboy

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Ethical question about art.
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2005, 07:22:40 PM »
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Quote from: cowboykurtis
i read your essay - i may have missed the answer within the text - regarding the animal pictures; were they specifically killed for the peices or aquired after their death and used as art? theres obviously a large difference, but in essence, that difference should not be taken into consideration when discussing the content in and of itself.


The animals were killed specifically for the pieces. In talking about the cow being killed, you really do a good job of highlighting the moral quandry of this sort of art. Everything you say is precisely on point, especially about context and intent; but I think there's key word that people may miss is in your last sentence, when you say that it "shouldn't and doesn't discredit their initial response to that work." The keyword is initial.

For example, I think the photograph of the dead woman is a beautiful work of art. I have an understanding that the woman died of natural causes, and the artist posed and photographed her with permission from her family after the autopsy. However, if I were to learn tomorrow that this explanation was a ruse, that the artist had actually killed the woman, my perception of the image would chance, and I would not be able to appreciate it. However, my initial reaction - that it is of aesthetic value - would not be changed or diminished; it would serve to contrast the subsequent feeling of disgust. Is it still art at that point? Yes. Unfortunately, perhaps, but yes.

Compare this to the mice or the sheep; we already know they were killed for the sake of the art. Animals are not on the same level of humans, of course, but nonetheless, a life has been extinguished for the sole purpose of aesthetics.

To contrast my own opinion, I'd invite Pozer and Meatball to qualify their brief reponses.

Stefen

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Ethical question about art.
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2005, 07:24:35 PM »
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Animals being killed for art just doesn't sit well with me. I mean when stuff like that happens, it makes art overrated cause nothing could ever be beautiful enough to warrant the killing of a helpless animal. A human on the other hand I don't mind, I could stare at a snuff film all day and never have an inkling of feeling bad for the person in the video, partly because I don't feel bad for humans. Humans make their own choices.
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jtm

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Ethical question about art.
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2005, 07:31:52 PM »
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Quote from: Stefen
, I could stare at a snuff film all day and never have an inkling of feeling bad for the person in the video, partly because I don't feel bad for humans. Humans make their own choices.


so if a human gets kidnapped and tortured to death on camera, it's the humans fault for allowing himself to be kidnapped?

Pozer

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Ethical question about art.
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2005, 07:45:25 PM »
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you asked, 'how do you feel about animals being killed for the sake of art?'
just look at that question. it is not art. art is a reflection. a moment. an emotion and all that. but it is not shock value, and that is all that comes to mind when looking at those images.
this post typed in all lower case holds more art than those photographs.

meatball

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Ethical question about art.
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2005, 07:53:26 PM »
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Quote from: Ghostboy
Compare this to the mice or the sheep; we already know they were killed for the sake of the art. Animals are not on the same level of humans, of course, but nonetheless, a life has been extinguished for the sole purpose of aesthetics.


Initial reaction to the work was, yes, it's pleasing to the eyes. They look beautiful, they really do. That only lasts a second or two because I am immediately disgusted. Disgusted that a person deliberately orchestrated this to trigger a reaction from me. If you want to get a reaction, punch me in the face and tell me whatever message you're trying to get across, but please spare the five white mice. And then, expect me to punch you in the face and tell you what's on my mind.

Stefen

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Ethical question about art.
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2005, 08:00:29 PM »
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Quote from: JTM
Quote from: Stefen
, I could stare at a snuff film all day and never have an inkling of feeling bad for the person in the video, partly because I don't feel bad for humans. Humans make their own choices.


so if a human gets kidnapped and tortured to death on camera, it's the humans fault for allowing himself to be kidnapped?


I wouldn't go that far, but it's definetely more of the humans fault then it is the animals fault. An animal can't protect itself, a human can.
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cowboykurtis

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Ethical question about art.
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2005, 08:01:46 PM »
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Quote from: POZER
it is not art. art is a reflection. a moment. an emotion and all that.


I would argue that those photographs are all of the above. You two seem to be disgusted, one might even say angry, about those images - those are two strong emotional reactions to these images which are both relflective, momentary and emotive...hence, they are art, whether you like them or not.
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cowboykurtis

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Ethical question about art.
« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2005, 08:07:53 PM »
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Quote from: Stefen
Quote from: JTM
Quote from: Stefen
, I could stare at a snuff film all day and never have an inkling of feeling bad for the person in the video, partly because I don't feel bad for humans. Humans make their own choices.


so if a human gets kidnapped and tortured to death on camera, it's the humans fault for allowing himself to be kidnapped?


I wouldn't go that far, but it's definetely more of the humans fault then it is the animals fault. An animal can't protect itself, a human can.


come on now, this is a pretty ignorant statement. how do you justify the mass amounts of people murdered and killed by machines that are much more powerful than any human( guns,bombs,cars)? A human can't protect themselves from a bullet just as an ant can't protect itself from my foot. Again, all is relative. To say human can protect themselves moreso than an animal is just false. A mouse in a cage is defenseless to a man - just as man is defenseless to a shark in the water. all is relative.
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Stefen

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Ethical question about art.
« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2005, 08:10:17 PM »
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If that first photo with the mice was taken with one of those instant cameras, where the pictures pops out in a few seconds and you have to shake the picture (what are those called?) by a couple of kids in the suburbs trying to imitate mtv's jackass, would that photo be considered art?
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