Battle For Art

– David Elliot Essay, Research Paper

Notion that an artist?s individual

conscience or sensibility can lead to personal or universal redemption is

in direct opposition to corporate view of culture, violently repudiated by

Hitler and Stalin. Immanuel Kant ? Critiques ?

subjective but altruistic – - symbolically and intuitively Absolute ?

universal moral consciousness ? Art purely an end in itself Rousseau ? ?The sciences, letters

and arts /// wind garlands of flowers around the iron chains that bind

[the people] and stifle in them the feeling of that original liberty for

which they seemed to have been born ? makes them love their slavery and

turn them into what are called civilized people? Under despotism ? art had

reflected and reinforced the immoral power of the state ? Rousseau search

for freedom and quality demanded a moral sense should pervade all aspects

of culture ? autonomy in the arts represented a field of non-specific ,

secular, symbolic and intransigent morality. Dictators saw themselves as

successors to revolution ? not despots but the people gilding the chains ?

noble savage lost his autonomy and his integrity Germnay USSR and Italy ?

increasingly intense battles for control of art and culture ? integral

part of establishment of power Cultural revolutions ? way of

getting rid of enemies at home. Cultural revolutions took place

during which all autonomous modernism was eliminated to be replaced by

compliant officialdom. End of WW2 ? Europe characterized

by a terrible vacuum where once stood people, language and art. Federal Republic ? merits of

abstraction over realism ? rejigging controversy between individual

freedom and collective democracy ? GDP Darmstadt Dialogues of 1950 ?

Willi Baumeister defends abstract art from attack by realists blamed

modern art for ?loss in the center? of culture USSR ? Zhadonov, Malenkov

increasingly constricted concept of art ? autonomous art slow to come back

to life. Point at which art becomes a

weapon is point when it loses its power ? when power tries to enlist art

for its own purposes, it runs the risk of curtailing other basic freedoms. Free society ? art is a reflection

of its complexity and an intimation of its capacity for change ? often

incompatible or critical relationship with the culture in which it is made

0 politics of totalitarianism or been consensus ? democracy elevated at

expense of freedom Art should be valued not only for

itself but also as a sign and guarantor of other freedoms ?pecks the hand

that solicitously tries to feed it?


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