Is it possible for art to cross a line into such monstrous or simply offensive or empty moral terrain that it is no longer deserving of categorization as “art?” A quick look at dictionary.com’s basic definition of art yields this: “the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.”
“According to whose aesthetic principles and using what metric of the ‘beautiful,’” I can hear First Amendment civil libertarians and self-styled avant garde artists asking already. Good questions.
The questions have particular relevance to post-modern art, that period from roughly the post-World War II years and extending into the present day.
Post-modernism, in brief, can be described as an effort across the art and philosophy and larger cultural worlds to extend the conversation after classicism and modern...Read More