David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophy and Geography 5 (1):51 – 68 (2002)
This essay interprets the controversy over Richard Serra's monumental sculpture, Tilted Arc , which was designed for a public plaza in downtown Manhattan in 1979 and then torn down five years later after intense public outcry. Levine reads this controversy as characteristic of contemporary debates over the arts, which continue the tradition of the nineteenth century avant-garde, pitting art against a wider public, and insisting that art must deliberately resist mainstream tastes and values in favor of marginality and innovation. This definition of art has posed a lasting dilemma for democratic societies: how, after all, should a democracy deal with art that represents an intentional rejection of the majority? The problem becomes even more intractable when it comes to avant-garde art commissioned for public spaces, where the art object can challenge public tastes and movements in a way that is inescapable for those who must live and work in the space. Disturbed by the imposition of a massive and incomprehensible art object in a public plaza, Serra's opponents argued that Tilted Arc frustrated a whole range of socially beneficial activities, labor and leisure alike. And they claimed that Serra's supporters were dangerously anti-democratic. But despite the avant-garde's challenge to majority tastes, this essay makes the case that it remains a democratic value to continue to sponsor avant-garde art in public spaces.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Raymond D. Boisvert (1984). Avant-Garde or Arrière-Garde? Turn-of-the-Century Art and the History of Ideas. International Philosophical Quarterly 24 (1):79-89.
Maarten Doorman (2003). Art in Progress: A Philosophical Response to the End of the Avant-Garde. Amsterdam University Press.
Philippe Sers (2002). Point de vue critique: Avant-garde radicale et avant-garde contemporaine en art. Cités 11 (11):107-115.
Krzysztof Ziarek (2004). The Force of Art. Stanford University Press.
Dominic McIver Lopes (2008). Nobody Needs a Theory of Art. Journal of Philosophy 105 (3):109-127.
Gregg M. Horowitz (1996). Public Art/Public Space: The Spectacle of the Tilted Arc Controversy. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 54 (1):8-14.
Bert Cardullo (2011). Art-House Cinema, Avant-Garde Film, and Dramatic Modernism. Journal of Aesthetic Education 45 (2):1-16.
Andrew E. Benjamin (1991). Art, Mimesis, and the Avant-Garde: Aspects of a Philosophy of Difference. Routledge.
Daniel Alan Herwitz (1993). Making Theory/Constructing Art: On the Authority of the Avant-Garde. University of Chicago Press.
Added to index2009-02-04
Total downloads29 ( #71,726 of 1,692,221 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #184,284 of 1,692,221 )
How can I increase my downloads?