Full text Read free See used
Brand, Peg Zeglin, , . Revising the Aesthetic-Nonaesthetic Distinction: The Aesthetic Value of Activist Art
2010, In Peg Zeglin Brand & Carolyn Korsmeyer (eds.), Feminism and Tradition in Aesthetics. Penn State Press.
Expand entry
Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Christy Mag Uidhir

Introduction: This essay will explore the role that the aesthetic-nonaesthetic distinction plays in assessing activist art by women and artists of color. First, I shall review one traditional line of philosophical thought and show how it serves as the foundation for three types of reasons typically given for artworks reputed to lack aesthetic value. I develop two of the three reasons by examining the recent writings opposed to the aesthetic value of activist art by well-known art critic Donald Kuspit, pointing out his aberrant use of ‘obscene’. Kuspit’s examples of activist art – the work of Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, and Adrian Piper – are presented in light of his charges. I then explore Piper’s art in depth in order to outline ways of expanding the notion of aesthetic value beyond its traditional confines. Finally, I suggest moving beyond entrenched, traditional patterns of assessment and invite underrepresented voices to contribute to the emerging discussion of the multiplicity of aesthetic values.

Comment: [This is a stub entry. Please add your comments to help us expand it]

Export citation in BibTeX format
Export text citation
View this text on PhilPapers
Export citation in Reference Manager format
Export citation in EndNote format
Export citation in Zotero format
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google Plus Share on Pinterest Share by Email More options
Full text Read free See used
Goehr, Lydia, , . Political music and the politics of music
1994, Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 52 (1):99-112.
Expand entry
Added by: Chris Blake-Turner, Contributed by: Christy Mag Uidhir

Introduction: On September 24th, 1947, a composer with “an international reputation” became the first Holly wood artist to be called before the Committee on Un-American Activities [HUAC]. The charge against him was that his music had aided the Communist infiltration of the motion-picture industry.’ A significant part of his defense con sisted in his claim that he was only a musician and thus not responsible for any part of a Com munist conspiracy. What is peculiar is that he almost got away with this unlikely defense, unlikely because he had spent much of his life developing a political music consistent with the ideals of Communism. In the end, the Commit tee caught him out on technical grounds: it found a history of inaccurate statements in his visa applications. The composer was deported. It was the second exile of his life: the first had been from Germany ten years earlier.

Comment: [This is a stub entry. Please add your comments to help us expand it]

Export citation in BibTeX format
Export text citation
View this text on PhilPapers
Export citation in Reference Manager format
Export citation in EndNote format
Export citation in Zotero format
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google Plus Share on Pinterest Share by Email More options
Full text Read free See used
Lambert-Beatty, Claire, , . Twelve Miles: Boundaries of the New Art/Activism
2008, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 33(2): 309-327.
Expand entry
Added by: Rossen Ventzislavov, Contributed by:

Summary: Lambert-Beatty explores the limits of art activism through a detailed account of Rebecca Gomperts’ Women on Waves project. Starting in 2001, Gomperts – a physician with a background in art – sailed a customized maritime gynecological clinic with a crew from the Netherlands to the coastal areas of countries where abortion had been outlawed. The clinic would dock far enough from the shore (twelve miles being the limit of states’ naval jurisdictions) to offer healthcare to local women undisturbed. Lambert-Beatty notes that for all of its political import, the project retains a radical imagination of the poetic kind. Considering its enthusiastic reception by the international artworld, and inclusion in major art exhibitions, it is also clear that Gomperts intended the work at least partially as art. And, yet, Women on Waves challenges notions of the aesthetic as the “retreat from the real” that it is so often seen as. Lambert-Beatty sees the pragmatic aspect of the work as an integral part of its beauty, and vice versa. This symbiotic balance seems to resolve the tension Ranciere finds “between the logic of art that becomes life at the price of abolishing itself as art, and the logic of art that does politics on the explicit condition of not doing it at all.”

Comment: This text is best used in discussions of the relationship between art and political activism. It can also be used as a case study in applied ethics classes on abortion.

Export citation in BibTeX format
Export text citation
View this text on PhilPapers
Export citation in Reference Manager format
Export citation in EndNote format
Export citation in Zotero format
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google Plus Share on Pinterest Share by Email More options