lizzyhajos

lizzyhajos

Contributing writer for The Artifice.

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'Unethical' Funding in the Arts: justifiable or justly criticized?

The artist collective Liberate Tate ((link) has been campaigning against the funding of the Tate museums by BP (oil company) since 2010. They have staged multiple controversial and somewhat harrowing performance pieces in protest against their funding of the arts, many of which have been staged in Tate museums themselves. One piece staged an ‘exorcism’ of the ‘evil spirit’ of BP from Tate by a priest and his choir. But does the issue really justify these terms? Can funding by an oil company really be considered the ‘evil spirit’ in these arts institutions when, surely, even when it is ‘expelled’, the arts doesn’t become a holy realm, considering historical tendencies of the Western art tradition in general towards elitism, sexism, racial discrimination etc etc.? If BP is an ‘evil’ company, what is a good one? who can be considered worthy of funding the arts? And considering the widespread cuts to government art funding, can the art world afford to be picky about its funding? Ultimately, is it better not to have funding in the arts than to have the arts funded by an oil company? The efforts of Liberate Tate could be used as a springboard into a discussion regarding the funding of the arts, and even particular exhibitions, in general – an aspect that isn’t often considered – examining the ethical problems that may arise depending who the funding is provided by and how that might or should affect our reception of the art.

  • (latest development: http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2016/apr/29/museums-ethics-investigation-influence-sponsor-bp-british-museum) – lizzyhajos 4 years ago
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  • The problem with funding is that it guides the agenda of whatever it funds: a political candidacy, and and exhibition. More often than not, funding is conditional upon referring to certain themes o framing the thesis of the exhibition in a specific way. – AnaMRuiz 4 years ago
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Latest Comments

lizzyhajos

Really enjoyable and informative article – am definitely inspired to further explore the ghostly enigmas of her work – thanks!

The Art of Francesca Woodman: Haunting, Evocative, Personal
lizzyhajos

Really glad to be introduced to the work of Miru Kim and Ruth Bernhard! Though I think this article should have emphasized more that ‘female bodies throughout art history have been objects of desirable, self-gratifying pleasure’ because they have been framed as such by male artists for a male audience not because they simply ‘are’. And it should go without saying that ‘The female body has the ability to transcend beyond sexual representation’. Nevertheless, that is why bringing these ‘non-sexualised’ works into discussion is so important. Miru Kim’s ‘Michigan Central Station’ is especially effective in the way in which the figure’s nakedness adds to the effect of the image, whilst taking up very little space: neither the woman nor the nakedness need to dominant or sexualised to have a significance or an artistic impact. Very good image and topic choice!

The Female Body in Art as a Non-Sexualised Being
lizzyhajos

The emulative patterns existent in Titus are definitely characteristic of revenge situations in general and are also significant in the way in which the nature of revenge causes the person seeking the revenge to be debased and lowered to the level of the person they’re seeking revenge against. Though I wouldn’t say that ’emulation is the cause of revenge’. Revenge rather seems to result from a desire, however misguided, to pursue justice on your own terms, and outside the framework of civil justice etc.; on terms which cannot operate on the basis of absolute or objective terms and which are thus not only ethically problematic but also, as you point out, cannot have an end (apart from complete destruction), as the actions aren’t regulated by an external body.

Titus Andronicus: Vengeance At A Cost