Essay Artistic Expression

Essay Artistic Expression-64
Just a socrates called himself a “Gadfly of Athens” (Plato 30e), Ai Weiwei, it could be said, is the Gadfly of Beijing.The suppression of his art has come in many untenable forms which ultimately embarrass and expose his government on the international art and political stage.The freedom of artistic expression should have extended to it the same degree of legal freedom granted to all other forms of speech; to forgo complete freedom of artistic expression would result in the suppression of human creativity as well as the suppression of the other types of speech for the artistic tradition closely identifies with all of the other forms of free speech.

Just a socrates called himself a “Gadfly of Athens” (Plato 30e), Ai Weiwei, it could be said, is the Gadfly of Beijing.The suppression of his art has come in many untenable forms which ultimately embarrass and expose his government on the international art and political stage.The freedom of artistic expression should have extended to it the same degree of legal freedom granted to all other forms of speech; to forgo complete freedom of artistic expression would result in the suppression of human creativity as well as the suppression of the other types of speech for the artistic tradition closely identifies with all of the other forms of free speech.

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Fundamentally, a discussion of morals, ideologies, and cultural direction arises from the controversial figure, a healthy piece of a well functioning society and something that Ai Weiwei’s China cannot have due to incomplete freedom of art.

A fundamental truth regarding the nature of art stems from such ideas; suppression of art destroys the ability of a society to communicate, even if some may consider the art destructive.

In another sphere, Miley Cyrus employs the idea of freedom of expression to its threshold, making statements ardently condemned by individuals who have different tastes and perhaps moral values.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau offers a counter idea to complete artistic freedom to be refuted by ideas and developments of modern artists.

Miley Cyrus’s sex-laced, drug influenced music videos in which she is often promiscuously (if barely) dressed incite rage in the more culturally conservative critics of American art.

Parents of children who idolize such pop stars may also not appreciate the provocative artistry of the pop star.Artistic freedom serves as an indicator of the health of a society at its root.A society able to withstand the condemnation of a single artist or stand in the wake of “Gadfly” in any form proves stability at the core.Modern China presents an astoundingly important example in the study of the freedom of artistic expression in the world today due to several factors: its recent history of suppression and its current titular censorship intermingled with cases of real censorship constitute a poisonous environment for art.Ai Weiwei has been described as “the most powerful artist in the world,” in what some predict will “become the most powerful nation in the world” (Stevens). Some of his more famous pieces such as Sunflower Seeds at the Tate Modern in London, present the idea of China critically, in response to its sheer population and the magnitude of every entity associated with the nation.Ai notes that “‘education should teach you to think, but [the government] just wants to control everyone’s mind.’ What the regime is most afraid of, he says, is ‘free discussion’” (Stevens). A discussion of the morals, values, and culture of a society frequently arises from the production and dissemination of new art forms and artists; some discussions prove disturbing to some, constructive to others.Artists throughout recent history have attributed truth to the saying that “art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.” An imperative of artistic purpose arises in this short collection of words, yet art serves so many other purposes as well.Perhaps a proof of the saying comes in the, what some would classify as disturbing, form of the music, persona, and performance of the American pop star Miley Cyrus.Whether or not one considers the productions of Cyrus art is contentious in itself; for the purposes of this paper and according to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, art may be defined as an entity “intentionally endowed by their makers with a significant degree of aesthetic interest, often surpassing that of most everyday objects” (Stanford). Those who condemn the girl who carries “the torch of sexually provocative pop stars,” ultimately call for the condemnation, suppression, and censorship of art (Feeny).A society should grant the same legal freedom to artistic speech as it does to any other type of speech, pending it grants such freedoms in the first place.A sick, stagnant population may be created through censorship of free art, speech, and education.

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