Monday, 31 January 2011

Classification disputes about art

Disputes as to whether or not to classify something as a work of art are referred to as classificatory disputes about art.

Classificatory disputes in the 20th century have included cubist and impressionist paintings, Duchamp's Fountain, the movies, superlative imitations of banknotes, Conceptual art, and Video games.[25]

Philosopher David Novitz has argued that disagreement about the definition of art are rarely the heart of the problem. Rather, "the passionate concerns and interests that humans vest in their social life" are "so much a part of all classificatory disputes about art" (Novitz, 1996). According to Novitz, classificatory disputes are more often disputes about societal values and where society is trying to go than they are about theory proper. For example, when the Daily Mail criticized Hirst's and Emin's work by arguing "For 1,000 years art has been one of our great civilising forces. Today, pickled sheep and soiled beds threaten to make barbarians of us all" they are not advancing a definition or theory about art, but questioning the value of Hirst's and Emin's work.[26] In 1998, Arthur Danto, suggested a thought experiment showing that "the status of an artifact as work of art results from the ideas a culture applies to it, rather than its inherent physical or perceptible qualities. Cultural interpretation (an art theory of some kind) is therefore constitutive of an object's arthood."[27][28]

Anti-art is a label for art that intentionally challenges the established parameters and values of art;[29] it is term associated with Dadaism and attributed to Marcel Duchamp just before World War I,[29] when he was making art from found objects.[29] One of these, Fountain (1917), an ordinary urinal, has achieved considerable prominence and influence on art.[29] Anti-art is a feature of work by Situationist International,[30] the lo-fi Mail art movement, and the Young British Artists,[29] though it is a form still rejected by the Stuckists,[29] who describe themselves as

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