Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Is it worth it?

Taxidermy-based art has been all the rage for the last few years. And with it has come raging debate in tow. Is it wrong for an artist such as Nathalia Edenmont to use the heads of dead cats and rabbits in her work? Some say yes. I'm not a fan, but we must ask ourselves: Are we in the business of censoring our artists whenever they tread on shaky ethical grounds? Is being offended a reason for keeping something from being seen? I guess the fear is that the artist willfully abuses something we generally deem sacred (i.e. life and respect for the dead), and leveraging a certain amount of shock value to assert or promote their own agenda (or career). Why should they have that right? The short answer goes: an artist is a receptacle for all emotions and experiences.

"The artist is the opposite of the politically minded individual, the opposite of the reformer, the opposite of the idealist. The artist does not tinker with the universe; he recreates it out of his own experience and understanding of life."

- Henry Miller from “An Open Letter to Surrealists Everywhere” The Cosmological Eye (1939).

("Bidibidobidiboo" by Maurizio Cattelan)

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