perry bard on Mon, 8 Mar 1999 14:37:11 -0500 (EST)

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Re: Syndicate: Moscow radicals

Outrage, censorship and political action

The Moscow incident of an artist destroying icons with an axe raises some
interesting issues about the relationship of art and artists to society and
culture.This critical relationship describes the dilemma of contemporary
art. Who is the public? Who is art meant to be seen by, who does it address
and what is the most appropriate tactic to use to discuss an artist's
vision. If the work is relegated to the art community which in general
seems to be tolerant to a fault, then anything goes. If the work is to be
seen by a larger public then the sentiments of that public are relevant.
Work that is political is public in nature regardless of where it is
presented. In New York, Richard Serra's public art commission Tilted Arc
and it's subsequent removal due to dissatisfatcion of a general public that
came in contact with the work on a daily basis, has caused a reevaluation
of the relationship between artist and public in terms of public art
practices.The results are not always for the best but the question raised
is significant. Studio artists seem immune to this type of questioning but
I feel it is just as relevant there. Obviously none of us wants censorship.
If artists can't speak freely we are doomed. How does an artist say what
he/she has to say in an uncompromised manner? This question doesn't have a
single answer but in
order for art to have a constructive and critical place in society today a
dialogue with a broader public is essential.

Perry Bard