Truth and Art

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Truth and Art

From Jeffery LeMieux

Published before 2005


Jeffery LeMieux: [...] the real point of any art is to create and maintain a debate about the nature of good [...]

Brian Yoder: I disagree. The real point of art is to express some idea (in a particular way). Whether that idea stimulates, creates, opposes, ignores, or closes down debate is a (far) secondary issue. I'm not saying that art can't or shouldn't contribute to moral debates. I think it's a fine thing if it does, but it isn't the "real point of all art".

I think that in denying good as the purpose and function of art, you are trying to maintain an objective value-neutral position. I think taking a radically objective pose by eliminating value distinctions in our viewpoint is the road to the modernism you reject. Art exists to express a "good" idea, at least in the view of the artist. A "this, not that" which is justified only by a decision by the artist about the nature of good. It is simply not possible to escape the necessity of individual value judgement as well as the summation of that urge to value represented by the art object.

Likewise, it makes no sense to look at, purchase, or champion an art object unless it represents a potentially worthwhile or "good" experience. We adopt a value-neutral "objective" stance at our peril.

Jeffery