[Milton-L] Re: porno vs. art?
rastrier at uchicago.edu
Sat Nov 26 16:12:10 EST 2005
I'm not sure how much further I want to pursue this because I have
said most of what I have to say. I will reiterate that I believe
that there is no definition of "pornography" that is not also going
to be applicable to some great art. So I believe all attempts at
censorship to be misguided. Was Picasso's intent in his erotic art
-- have a look at some of his late works on paper! -- the same as
that of the director of Debbie Does? I don't know, and neither do
you. And what if it wasn't exactly the same? My point is that part
of Picasso's aim was to be erotically stimulating, so that "intended
to be erotically/sexually stimulating" cannot be used as a definition
of "improper" art or "non-art." Maybe the director of Debbie Does
had a high aesthetic sense, and the thing is really nicely
photographed or choreographed or whatever (I haven't seen it; have
you?). That some material is covered over by store owners, etc means
nothing. Think of all the fig leaves painted onto statues of "nude"
(that is, naked) people, especially males. I'm not sure that the US
Mail will deliver postcards of Michelangelo's David. That's the kind
of thing that definitions of "the improper" produce. I guess I'm
just not as sure you are that it's so clear that "X is pornography
and Y is not." And surely anyone who has read Wittgenstein knows
that to "know it when you see it" -- whatever that means -- does not
require or suggest that you can provide a definition of "it."
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