Philosophy Talk: Art and Obscenity

Mar 14, 2017

Where is the line that divides genuine art from mere obscenity?


What do Marcel Duchamp, Damien Hirst, and Andres Serrano have in common? They’ve all created modern works of art that have shocked and outraged the general public, causing many to question whether these works have any artistic value at all. But isn’t it the purpose of art to incite inquiry and question conventional moral wisdom? If so, then a strong public reaction would seem to prove the artistic merit of these works. So, is there a clear line to be drawn between genuine art and mere obscenity? Or has shock value simply replaced cultural value in the world of contemporary art? John and Ken curate their conversation with Stanford art historian Richard Meyer, author of What Was Contemporary Art? Sunday 3/12 at 10 am and Tuesday 3/14 at 12 noon.