Notes On Attention Paid

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Art Made by Immoral People, What To Do?

… i enjoyed reading _What Do We Do with the Work of Immoral Artists_… it is thought provoking and the book Drawing the line: What to Do with the Work of Immoral Artists from Museums to the Movies

… my own thoughts seem to align with where both authors come out… that it depends… troubled psyches often produce remarkable insight through art and we would be poorer as a society to ban it from public view altogether… for starters, not all of those troubled psyches are morally questionable, but what to do with the ones that are?… it is interesting that all the examples offered in the article are white men who abused women and children, but then, the vast majority of the art in museums is made by white men… this is mostly the psyche of the white patriarchy on display…

… an easy criteria for me is whether i am turned off enough by the actions of an artist to simply not be interested in their production… this is true for me with Woody Allen… it gets harder when i really like the work of an amoral actor… Gaugin’s Tahitian women paintings might be an example of this… for the most part i believe museums and galleries have an obligation to put the artwork in context, whether or not patrons are prepared to embrace or even pay attention to that context… if the artists character is, or was, morally questionable… this should be known and become part of understanding the work and it’s relevance…

… i would probably draw the line at supporting a living, morally questionable and unrepentant artist… how one conducts their daily lives should have impact on one’s viability in society…

… the example of William Noguera, an artist on death row for killing a woman, offered in the article is interesting… i followed the links about the artist and the book he has written and found myself a little put off by the slick PR which paints him as a soul that has embraced and is trying to atone for what he has done… there is a kind of gliding over of the murder, acknowledged, but in a, “that was me then, this is me now” sort of way… it is possibly a touching story, but one that has been valorized and romanticized it seems to me…

… still, we should be all for rehabilitation and coming to terms with one’s sins…

… i don’t believe in the death penalty as a form of punishment an enlightened society should pursue… in many ways, the Noguera story is the kind of story one would point to as a better way… sans death penalty hanging over his head… it is easy for me to think i would readily attend an exhibition of his work, but for the slick PR… i could do without that…