September 9, 2008

Shock Art

Filed under: art,General — crcb @ 10:33 pm
Tags: , ,

The fallacy of shock art is that it wants to disturb without the audience’s participation. Like (other) preachy art, it wants to do something to the audience, rather than create something with the audience.



  1. So I’m searching on the web because I have heard numerous discussions about certain things in the arts world being preachy and I found this comment. I don’t really know what the taboo about this is, except that it is confrontational. What is bad in that? Is there anything eventually that isn’t confrontational, offensive, invoking reactions? I’m not sure about the prepositions being the lone qualifiers as if doing something to or something with removes the relationship of a shocking experience or qualifies this as a fallacy. However, the definition of the word “preachy” has to do with being tediously or pretentiously didactic. Morals are always imposed, or a moral cognition is always imposed. Is this supposed to be taboo? Why?

    Comment by elbinoduck — September 28, 2008 @ 11:30 am | Reply

  2. You’re implying, I think, that my with/to distinction is a verbal quibble, but small words matter. There’s a big difference, for example, between running with someone and running to them (or from them).

    I probably didn’t make it clear, though, that I was talking about art where the shock value is paramount. I’ve seen plenty of it, and I tire of it. I believe the deep purpose of art is to tell the truth. The truth can be shocking and offensive, but to shock and offend is not a shortcut to the truth.

    It should go without saying (but those things often need to be said) that I’m only talking about what art means to me, not what it should mean to anyone else.

    As a final remark, I have no problem with didactic art. As you note, preachy isn’t the same thing.

    In any case, thanks for responding.

    Comment by crcb — October 5, 2008 @ 12:01 am | Reply

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