Art as a moral sanctuary. Should art show what is not allowed to be seen elsewhere?

  • Author(s):
    Albert van der Schoot, Aleid Truijens, Anna Tilroe, Arie Slob, Ger Groot, Gert Peelen, Herman Franke, Maarten Doorman, Marga van Mechelen, Nataliya Golofastova, Onno Zijlstra, Rob van Gerwen, Sándor Kibédi Varga, Volker Küster
  • Published:
    januari 2008
  • Size:
    flexicover 17 x 22 cm
  • Pages:
  • Illustration:
    2 fullcolour & 15 grafische illustraties
  • Design:
    Hanneke Meijers
  • Language:
  • ISBN:
    978 90 89100 46 7
  • NUR:
€ 23,50

Andres Serrano’s piss sex posters, Jeff Koons’ Biedermeier porno, Fassbinder’s Garbage, the City and Death, Herman Brusselmans’ literary slanging-match, the anti-Hirsi Ali rap, Joanneke Meester’s pistol made of skin or the statue of Kabouter Buttplug in the Rotterdam city centre - ‘artistic expression’ regularly causes social controversy.
Contemporary art aims to extend boundaries, disrupt, break taboos, attack sacred cows. The question as to whether society should grant space for this (and where the boundary lies) partly depends on the question as to whether art really does have a social function. To answer this question in the negative and only to stress the moral sanctuary is to place art into a vacuum - it may do and show what it wants, but is no longer relevant. However, art can also be seen as the means for exploring moral issues. But to reduce art to its social usefulness is to remove the sting from what is essentially its asocial nature. Should art show what is not allowed to be seen elsewhere?