By Kieran Cashell
Accused through the tabloid press of getting down to 'shock', arguable artistic endeavors are vigorously defended via artwork critics, who usually downplay their aggravating emotional impression. this can be the 1st ebook to topic modern artwork to a rigorous moral exploration. It argues that, in favouring conceptual instead of emotional reactions, commentators really fail to have interaction with the paintings they advertise. Scrutinising infamous works by means of artists together with Damien Hirst, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Richard Billingham, Marc Quinn, Sally Mann, Marcus Harvey, Hans Bellmer, Paul McCarthy, Tierney Gearon, and Tracey Emin, "Aftershock" insists at the value of visceral, emotional and 'ethical' responses. faraway from clouding our judgement, Cashell argues, disgrace, outrage or revulsion are the very feelings that such works got down to evoke. whereas additionally wondering the catch-all inspiration of 'transgression', this illuminating and debatable ebook neither jumps indiscriminately to the defence of stunning artistic endeavors nor dismisses them out of hand.
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Extra resources for Aftershock: The Ethics of Contemporary Transgressive Art
The desire of the social tourist to inhabit another world with distanced impunity is less important to media-reinforced middle-class fantasies of the working class than the longing to escape from their social habitus, to be liberated from the straitjacket of liberal morality, if only for a fugitive hour of imaginative abandon. And this is the key to these genres, for it determines – more than any strategic, commercially successful narrative structure – the pleasure the genres deliver. This is the fantasy indulged by the media-fabricated image of the working class, repackaged as a lifestyle choice for the consumption of middle-class media tourists.
He announces his aesthetic programme thus: ‘Disabled bodies are hardly represented in the history of art and when they are, they are usually interpreted as something “other” or negative. 91 A dramatic tension, the sense that a contradiction between ‘ugly’ content and ‘beautiful’ form, precisely as that which is celebrated in the work of Mapplethorpe and Serrano, has also been achieved in Quinn’s sculptural series – a visual contradiction, produced from the fact that real bodies fail to achieve the transcendental values associated with classical morphology, is accentuated by the failure of the dysmorphic content to inhabit the form comfortably.
23 Richard Billingham, Ray’s A Laugh (Untitled), 1993–5 Colour photograph on aluminium Courtesy Anthony Reynolds Gallery (London) something that again has not been overlooked by commentators. For instance, one picture of Elizabeth (Billingham’s mother) shows her in maternal circumstance, weaning a blind newborn kitten with a syringe of milk: cradling the tiny creature in her huge tattooed arms, she looks up at the photographer and laughs, clearly enjoying the moment. This sympathetic mode is, however, also disturbingly offset, it has to be admitted, by images of a morally disquieting nature.
Aftershock: The Ethics of Contemporary Transgressive Art by Kieran Cashell