Judging the Image: Art, Value, Law by Alison Young

By Alison Young

Paintings, worth, legislations - the hyperlinks among those 3 phrases mark a background of fight within the cultural scene. reviews of latest tradition have therefore more and more became to the picture as primary to the construction of legitimacy, aesthetics and order. Judging the Image extends the cultural flip in felony and criminological reviews via interrogating our responses to the picture. This booklet offers an area to imagine via difficulties of ethics, social authority and the criminal mind's eye. strategies of reminiscence and interpretation, violence and aesthetic, authority and legitimacy are thought of in a various diversity of web sites, together with: * physique, functionality and law * judgment, censorship and debatable artistic endeavors * graffiti and the aesthetics of public area * HIV and the paintings of the disappearing physique * witnessing, ethics and the functionality of anguish * memorial photos - paintings within the wake of catastrophe.

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Extra info for Judging the Image: Art, Value, Law

Example text

It is not art – it is a disgrace . . 35 An editorial in the Sun called the artwork ‘nauseating’ and wrote: ‘Why not simply hang a bucket of sewer water in the gallery? . 36 The Sun also invited readers to phone in their views in a telephone poll called ‘YOU THE JURY’. ’ The results were published two days later: ‘Furious Sun readers yesterday condemned by a massive 42 to one a plan to display a portrait of child-killer Myra Hindley, made using a tot’s handprints’. 37 Hindley herself, no doubt suspecting that any outcry over an image of her might damage her already limited chances of gaining parole, wrote to the Guardian newspaper, asking for the Royal Academy to withdraw the artwork.

I realised you had to break the surface of this image, so it’s not just a glamorous posturing. That wouldn’t have been enough. 50 The child’s handprint is a profoundly ambiguous mark. Children make prints of their hands at play, in day care, in games played with parents and with non-toxic paints. The very word ‘handprint’, however, echoes ‘fingerprint’ with its forensic drive and function. 51 The ambiguity of the handprint gives Myra much of its voltage as an image. And yet, it makes no difference whether the handprint is understood as a mark of play or as a mark of victimization.

The account of its creation provides another. The crucifix was, according to the artist, immersed in urine when the photograph was taken. In other words, the person who for Christians is the son of God and the founder of their church, is shown immersed in excrement. (p. 1) ‘Excrement’ usually connotes faeces. The judge uses the metonymic relation between urine and faeces to generate the offensiveness of the artwork. Although both are waste products, in the contemporary hierarchy of abjection faeces are regarded as more disgusting than urine.

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