May 8, 2022
Art is created by people, but people are fallible. When the art we love is tainted by the brush of an artist’s biography, we must ask whether the shift in our aesthetic experience is reasonable. One might also wonder whether artworks can do wrong in and of themselves. If artworks can be intended as conveyers of truth, can they convey falsehoods or – more awkwardly – lies? These aren’t just conceptual problems. If artworks lie and immoral artists are inseparable from their artworks, how should we respond? Should we censor all art, some art, or no art at all?
In this episode, we’ll be discussing the ethics of art with Cambridge University’s Dr Daisy Dixon. Dixon’s work, which explores the nature of (and responses to) unethical art, invites us to place art within its context – to consider artworks in relation to their artists, truth-functionality in relation to an artwork’s surroundings, and dangerous artworks in relation to their curation. If we do so, says Dixon, we’ll not only gain a better understanding of art but how we can bring about a better world.
Part I. Time
Part II. Further Analysis and Discussion