Splish Splash, I Was Having A Bath. Colston Statue Topplers Not Guilty

Discussion in 'Politics 2.0' started by Moose, Jan 6, 2022.

  1. Arakel

    Arakel First Team

    I don't agree it's not obvious.

    It can be pretty simple check in practice. If a piece wouldn't be approved to be put onto a public building today, it should be removed if possible and placed in a museum where it can be viewed in full context. That's what museums are for. Yes, sometimes there are impracticalities, but that doesn't mean you cannot or should not try.

    Slippery slope objections naturally would dictate the appropriate level of display on public buildings is nothing at all, since the vast majority of people will agree there's a line somewhere, and only disagree over where that line is. There's a good reason it's considered one of the major logical fallacies.
  2. Keighley

    Keighley Squad Player

    But on what basis would it "not be approved today"?

    If we are excluding artists who are associated with sexual abuse, do we also exclude @Lloyd's Caravaggios (some of those are on public display in churches in Italy)? What about the statues of the ancient Greeks?

    Remember, it's not the art itself which is perceived to be problematic, it is some characteristic or activity of the artist which may be offensive to some (but not all) sensibilities. So I am not at all clear that the 'vast majority of people' will agree there is a line, because I still think art and artist are separable.

    Why can't the 'context' be explained publicly? That was what the city council wanted to do with the Colston statue.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2022
    iamofwfc likes this.
  3. Arakel

    Arakel First Team

    Well for example, do you think an active paedophile's work would be put up on a new building display today? I sincerely doubt it. And if we accept that, is there any real argument against not revisiting earlier decisions in the light of what's currently not acceptable?

    I would suggest we can agree that what the e.g. Italians choose to display in Italy is probably out of scope of the discussion over what would be appropriate to display on a publicly owned building or monument in the UK. That's their business, not ours. :)

    Yes. And we should also remember that public display on publicly owned property is viewed by many as an endorsement. You don't have to agree with their thoughts on that, but I think it should be possible to accept that there are many people who feel that way.

    Given that there is no shortage of art, nor is there a shortage of artists who don't have controversial or unethical or illegal backgrounds AND have also produced notable works, it seems there's no risk of art itself vanishing.

    There's a reason the words "put them on a pedestal" exist and have a positive overtone. There's endorsement, whether passively or actively so, over the public display and lionization of historical figures. Museums have no such limitations and never have, because the entire purpose of a museum isn't to house a specific exhibition. it's to house and report back on all of our recorded history, good and bad, preferably with the least bias and whitewashing possible.

    To put things another way, if there's no difference between explaining the Colston status publically and putting it in a museum, why were (are?) the Colston supporters so upset about the suggestion of moving it to a museum instead? If it were to amount to the same thing to add context to the existing display, then there's no disrespect or change in moving it to a museum, is there not? So why the objections?

    I think most would agree there are more works and notable people to celebrate than we possibly have space for. If the vast majority are most certainly not controversial why not focus on those? We don't really lose anything in focusing on the positive, and a display to (or of) Bob the Angelic rather than David the Devilish Douchebag won't make us any worse off if the replacements are still notable. Furthermore, I'd argue there's even an advantage to the cycling of items on full view/public display, since it exposes us to more original works while maintaining the removed ones in a safer environment.

    I'm not personally offended by Gill's work, but I can appreciate that people honestly find it distasteful to highlight the work of a paedophile. I don't have to agree with them to see where they're coming from.

    Much fun as this is, at this point I feel the discussion's becoming a bit circular and we're mostly just revisiting what we've already discussed so chances are I won't add more.
  4. Keighley

    Keighley Squad Player

    It's a shame you think it's not worth contributing any more because your Caravaggio comment is clearly a complete cop-out (as I think you realise :D). I'm sure you see what I am getting at. Paedophilia may be an obvious case, but is murder? Domestic violence? Fraud?

    To give one example from earlier in the thread, records which Phil Spector produced are still played including, SFAIK, on the BBC.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2022
  5. Lloyd

    Lloyd Squad Player

    If all offensive art is going to be removed can we start by painting over anything by Banksy
  6. HenryHooter

    HenryHooter Reservist

    Just bare in mind that Gill's statue of Prospero and Ariel does represent a bearded man (possibly modelled on the long bearded Gill himself) apparently restraining a naked pre-teenage child, and that public concern about him is that he was a dog buggering paedophile.

    If the artist does not seperate himself from the art, why should the rest of us.

    I have nothing against the statue, and it is a positive thing that it is there to spark discussion. But better people than me have decided it is OK to rip down anything that offends us, now-a-days. The Taliban have been doing it for long enough, Christians have always done it.

    I would call it regression, rather than progress, but if people are prepared to live with it, hey ho.

    But when people complain that paedophiles are less justification than slavers to perform an illegal act (the Colston removal was illegal) I think the whole thing becomes less savoury.
    iamofwfc likes this.
  7. Since63

    Since63 Reservist

    It would appear we have differing viewpoints on the way language is used. You seem to suggest all words have an immutable, objective meaning while I'd suggest many have subjective meanings, and their use can be even more so. 'Definition of the term has nothing to do with the use I made of it' embodies both phenomena, so I congratulate on your succinctness.

    In a previous post you usefully (and humorously) decided to explain your use of 'southerners' in relation to people who frequent a club in Watford as meaning 'people who live in the south of England.' Fair enough, except natives of Cornwall and Devon are not averse to referring to Hertfordshire inhabitants as 'northerners'. When I was still working, there was a Geordie appointed as plant manager of the company's Manchester factory who habitually referred to Manchester as 'down south' and the workforce as 'you southerners'. All to do with perspective and subjective viewpoint.

    'Tautology' as I was employing it actually referred to a circular argument, as in 'Who survives? The fittest. Who are the fittest? Those that survive.' Nothing to do with the alternative meaning based on emphasis. I hope you understand that now that I have defined my use of the word/label/term. I have no problem with you disagreeing with me on the basis of what I meant by using that term in that specific way, but at least you have a clear frame of reference within which to disagree.

    At least there is some humour to be had from the fact that you are ready to accuse others of 'pseudo-intellectualism'.
  8. Davy Crockett

    Davy Crockett Reservist

    I do not wish to de rail this thread but if Banksy's ID is a secret then who signed off the book deal and where do the royalty cheques end up ?
    iamofwfc likes this.
  9. Bwood_Horn

    Bwood_Horn Squad Player

    His/her agent?
  10. Davy Crockett

    Davy Crockett Reservist

    So ,at least, one person knows?
    And if the agent knows then it will be not unreasonable to assume that any employee of said agent
    or any 3rd party of said agent knows ?
    But what does a 3rd rate old skool shop steward know ?
    Guilty as charged . I am as stoopid AF

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