Art and reality: How accurately does “Euphoria” portray real teens’ lives? Does it matter?

The central point here is that the show Euphoria inaccurately portrays teenagers’ lives which raises the question: Is there a responsibility that comes with creating artwork? Must it be accurate? Who decides?

The claim that the show is inaccurate is backup with statistics raises the question: How can math/statistics help us acquire knowledge? (or understand reality?)

People’s perceptions of teens’ behaviors seems to be generally inaccurate beyond what this show. If presented with this article and appropriate statistics would people change their mind or perceptions of these issues? I’m not sure that it would which leads us to the question: What is the role of intuition in acquiring knowledge? Can mathematical knowledge overcome intuitive beliefs?

This reminded me of an earlier article from the New York Times:

“The Kids Are More Than All Right”

https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/02/the-kids-are-more-than-all-right/

What should happen to “offensive” artwork?

Knowledge Questions: What are the ethical limitations of artwork? To what extent are artists responsible for the reactions their work receives? What is the role of the audience in deciding the meaning of artwork? To what extent do the intentions of the artist matter in the interpretation of their work? What are the responsibilities of institutions in deciding what work is appropriate for display?

This is a topic that will never quite leave us. There are countless cases of “offensive” artwork and the reactions it gets. All of these provide great opportunities for TOK.

A Los Angeles School Planned to Whitewash a Mural That Offended Korean Activists—Until Shepard Fairey Stepped in to Defend It

(Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

 

Stanton’s work depicts the late actress Ava Gardner on a backdrop of blue and orange sun rays. It was targeted by Korean-American activists who complained that the sun-ray pattern is similar to that of the Japanese Imperial flag, which has become a symbol of the atrocities Japan committed before and during World War II, particularly in China and Korea. In response, the school district announced plans to cover it up. 

https://news.artnet.com/art-world/shepard-fairey-defends-beau-stanton-mural-1423192

Should Art That Infuriates Be Removed?

“Is the censorship, much less the destruction of art, abhorrent? Yes. Should people offended or outraged by an artwork or an exhibition mount protests? Absolutely. And might a museum have the foresight to frame a possibly controversial work of art through labels or programming? Yes, that, too. “

White Artist’s Painting of Emmett Till at Whitney Biennial Draws Protests

White free speech and white creative freedom have been founded on the constraint of others, and are not natural rights. The painting must go.” She added that “contemporary art is a fundamentally white supremacist institution despite all our nice friends.”

 

Met Defends Suggestive Painting of Girl After Petition Calls for Its Removal

“The Metropolitan Museum of Art will not remove a controversial painting by the French painter known as Balthus from public display.”

 

  • How do we determine whether art is “appropriate”?
  • How does context affect the meaning of art? Notice how the quote below makes mention of the “current climate.” Should the “current climate” affect what is allowed to be displayed in a museum?

“Given the current climate around sexual assault and allegations that become more public each day, in showcasing this work for the masses, The Met is romanticizing voyeurism and the objectification of children,” it reads.

160803093028-australian-artist-clinton-mural-super-169Is censorship of artwork ever appropriate? If so, under what circumstances?

“A controversial mural of Hillary Clinton will be allowed to remain after the artist modified it from depicting the politician in a revealing swimsuit to one where she is wearing a burqa instead.”

http://edition.cnn.com/2016/08/02/asia/australia-clinton-mural-artist-burqa/

These High School Murals Depict an Ugly History. Should They Go?

After hearing from both sides, the committee issued a statement that said the artwork “glorifies slavery, genocide, colonization, Manifest Destiny, white supremacy, oppression, etc.” and does not represent the San Francisco school’s “values of social justice.”

Photograph that has attracted controversy for more than two decades attracts protests outside New York exhibition

http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2012/sep/28/andres-serrano-piss-christ-new-york

Did 13 Reasons Why Spark a Suicide Contagion Effect?

The show Thirteen Reasons Why raises some interesting issues regarding ethical responsibility of content producers and networks that broadcast content that may have “deleterious effects” on their viewers. This also raises interesting questions about the value and power of art.

A new study reveals that internet searches for suicide skyrocketed in the wake of the show’s release.

The question is whether this particular study, or any of the allegations that the show directly led to copycat suicides and suicide attempts, will be enough of an impetus for the show’s producers to respond. The study’s authors suggest that editing out the scene of Hannah Baker’s suicide from the show and adding information about suicide hotlines to episodes could immediately minimize some of 13 Reasons Why’s “deleterious effects.” Netflix’s response to the study, though, indicated no such moves would be forthcoming. “We always believed this show would increase discussion around this tough subject matter,” the company said in a statement. “This is an interesting quasi-experimental study that confirms this. We are looking forward to more research and taking everything we learn to heart as we prepare for Season 2.” Netflix declined interview requests from The Atlantic regarding the show.

https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2017/08/13-reasons-why-demonstrates-cultures-power/535518/

We cannot celebrate revolutionary Russian art – it is brutal propaganda

2000“We will never stop looking at the art of the Russian avant garde, nor should we. Yet we need to place it in its true context. It is a lazy, immoral lie to keep pretending there was anything glorious about the brutal experiment Lenin imposed on Russia – or anything innocent about its all-too-brilliant propaganda art. Perhaps the Royal Academy is about to open that very show, but its shallow title seems all too happy to cash in on revolutionary chic.”

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/jonathanjonesblog/2017/feb/01/revolutionary-russian-art-brutal-propaganda-royal-academy

Should Authors Shun or Cooperate With Chinese Censors?

“A report by the PEN American Center, which found some books were expurgated by Chinese censors without the authors even knowing it, called on those who want their works published in the lucrative Chinese market to be vigilant, and recommended a set of principles in dealing with publishers.

“But each author may approach the problem differently. How should Western authors and artists deal with Chinese government censorship? Accept or negotiate changes, or decline to have their work published at all?”

Hollywood at War: An unrepentant whitewash of murder and occupation, American Sniper shouldn’t be up for any Oscars tonight.

“Great art is always ambiguous. Rather than giving us answers, it forces us to ask new questions; complexity is its hallmark. None of this applies to American Sniper, a truly abhorrent film that cannot be confused with art, much less great art.”

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/02/american-sniper-war-violence-oscars/

Art for Money’s Sake

This article is about a new state of the art storage facility that will store and facilitate the market for artwork. This story raises some interesting questions about artwork.

What determines the monetary value of artwork? Does the treatment of art as a commodity to be bought and sold and speculated upon undermine its purpose? Should great artwork be in private hands away from public view?

“The complex will be packed with thousands of works of art, from old masters to contemporary rising stars. But unlike at a museum, few will ever see the works that live inside it…

“Largely hidden from public view, an ecosystem of service providers has blossomed as Wall Street-style investors and other new buyers have entered the market. These service companies, profiting on the heavy volume of deals while helping more deals take place, include not only art handlers and advisers but also tech start-ups like ArtRank. A sort of Jim Cramer for the fine arts, ArtRank uses an algorithm to place emerging artists into buckets including ‘buy now,’ ‘sell now’ and liquidate.’ Carlos Rivera, co-founder and public face of the company, says that the algorithm, which uses online trends as well as an old-fashioned network of about 40 art professionals around the world, was designed by a financial engineer who still works at a hedge fund.”