Can art be repulsive?

What is art? What is beauty?

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White Sky
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Re: Can art be repulsive?

Post by White Sky » Sat Sep 26, 2015 6:09 am

duszek wrote:How about "Guernica" by Picasso ?
Disturbing, not pretty to look at.

But it´s art because made by an undisputed artist.

Art requires some mastery of expression.

A selfie of a battle-field would hardly be "art".
Guernica is disturbing, as is much art, but it would be a stretch to call it repulsive.

duszek
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Re: Can art be repulsive?

Post by duszek » Sun Sep 27, 2015 11:04 am

If Picasso made it even more disturbing then it might be repulsive.

Zola is a great artist, some naturalistic descriptions of his could be considered repulsive for sure.
I was lucky when reading "Thérèse Raquin" that I did not understand the French vocabulary from the area of drowned bodies ... :mrgreen:
I did not bother to check these specific terms in a dictionary.

White Sky
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Re: Can art be repulsive?

Post by White Sky » Sun Sep 27, 2015 6:19 pm

duszek wrote:If Picasso made it even more disturbing then it might be repulsive.

Zola is a great artist, some naturalistic descriptions of his could be considered repulsive for sure.
I was lucky when reading "Thérèse Raquin" that I did not understand the French vocabulary from the area of drowned bodies ... :mrgreen:
I did not bother to check these specific terms in a dictionary.
Sure, much literature has descriptions of repulsive things. That rarely makes the Art itself repulsive.

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Greta
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Re: Can art be repulsive?

Post by Greta » Mon Sep 28, 2015 3:29 am

I found the forms of Guernica beautiful, as I do with most of Picasso's work, just that the subject matter was grim.

Art is supposed to stir emotions and ideas. Maybe for the artist the work is cathartic, an opportunity for expression. At other times art is intended to affect viewers or audiences, maybe playfully, sensually, politically or technically.

Music is my area so I'll focus on that. Experimental noise artists aim to avoid cliche and challenge listeners. Free jazz sacrifices harmoniousness for intensity. Heavy rock/metal is a raw expression of energy and bravado. Swing, pop, soul and popular rock are inviting forms that greet the listener like a puppy. By contrast jazz does its own thing and leaves you alone, unless you decide to come to it. Maybe more like an old dog or a cat.

Here's some noise music from the most uncompromising musician I've heard (recommended by a British friend) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ya3JH2kJH94 - put your feet up, relax, maybe sip a Pina Colada, and bathe in the soothing tones of Merzbow :)

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Re: Can art be repulsive?

Post by duszek » Mon Sep 28, 2015 12:14 pm

I like your analogy, Greta, thank you.

Pop music greets like a puppy, jazz leaves you alone like an old dog or cat.

How about the melancholy of Chopin´s nocturnes ?
How about the Summer Time by Gershwin ?

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Greta
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Re: Can art be repulsive?

Post by Greta » Mon Sep 28, 2015 2:20 pm

Cheers duszek, I don't know much classical but reputation suggests that Chopin straddled the visceral and deep. Summertime was originally a lullaby for Porgy and Bess by George Gershwin so it was fairly populist, which of course is no reflection on its quality.

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Re: Can art be repulsive?

Post by duszek » Mon Sep 28, 2015 2:29 pm

A jazz lover once compared jazz to an invitation to walk into unknown little streets in town one does not know either.

I felt once on a cold day in January like a liveless heap of matter and was lying on a mat and then Duke Ellington came on the radio and it got me up and soon I was floating in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, listening to saxophone tunes from New Orleans, on a hot summer evening, and I was a happy jellyfish, with a big sheepish smile on my face.

White Sky
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Re: Can art be repulsive?

Post by White Sky » Mon Sep 28, 2015 6:37 pm

Greta wrote:I found the forms of Guernica beautiful, as I do with most of Picasso's work, just that the subject matter was grim.

Art is supposed to stir emotions and ideas. Maybe for the artist the work is cathartic, an opportunity for expression. At other times art is intended to affect viewers or audiences, maybe playfully, sensually, politically or technically.

Music is my area so I'll focus on that. Experimental noise artists aim to avoid cliche and challenge listeners. Free jazz sacrifices harmoniousness for intensity. Heavy rock/metal is a raw expression of energy and bravado. Swing, pop, soul and popular rock are inviting forms that greet the listener like a puppy. By contrast jazz does its own thing and leaves you alone, unless you decide to come to it. Maybe more like an old dog or a cat.

Here's some noise music from the most uncompromising musician I've heard (recommended by a British friend) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ya3JH2kJH94 - put your feet up, relax, maybe sip a Pina Colada, and bathe in the soothing tones of Merzbow :)
This is interesting and true, but none of this art is repulsive, nor is it meant to be.

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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: Can art be repulsive?

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Mon Sep 28, 2015 6:44 pm

Greta wrote:I found the forms of Guernica beautiful, as I do with most of Picasso's work, just that the subject matter was grim.

Art is supposed to stir emotions and ideas. Maybe for the artist the work is cathartic, an opportunity for expression. At other times art is intended to affect viewers or audiences, maybe playfully, sensually, politically or technically.

Music is my area so I'll focus on that. Experimental noise artists aim to avoid cliche and challenge listeners. Free jazz sacrifices harmoniousness for intensity. Heavy rock/metal is a raw expression of energy and bravado. Swing, pop, soul and popular rock are inviting forms that greet the listener like a puppy. By contrast jazz does its own thing and leaves you alone, unless you decide to come to it. Maybe more like an old dog or a cat.

Here's some noise music from the most uncompromising musician I've heard (recommended by a British friend) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ya3JH2kJH94 - put your feet up, relax, maybe sip a Pina Colada, and bathe in the soothing tones of Merzbow :)
Noise is used for torture.
i think I'd be somewhat disappointed to be in the concert hall having paid a ticket.

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Greta
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Re: Can art be repulsive?

Post by Greta » Tue Sep 29, 2015 12:28 am

White Sky wrote:This is interesting and true, but none of this art is repulsive, nor is it meant to be.
Most art that most people would consider repulsive wasn't designed to be so. The artist simply didn't consider the tastes of mainstream audiences. Just as the mainstream artist doesn't care that they repel some experimental artists, the experimental tend not to think about who they might repel - unless using repulsion to make a point.
Hobbes' Choice wrote:Noise is used for torture.
i think I'd be somewhat disappointed to be in the concert hall having paid a ticket.
A dedicated masochist may be more resilient to physical torture than most people. A Merzbow fan would fare much better than most if exposed to noise torture. Scuba divers and those aiming for underwater breath holding records will fare better with waterboarding.

I'm pretty sure that Merzbow's audiences know what they are paying for and they would be horrified if he suddenly presented them with mainstream pop. Personally, a loop of Tony Orlando's Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree would finish me off long before noise artists could.

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Re: Can art be repulsive?

Post by White Sky » Tue Sep 29, 2015 1:47 am

White Sky wrote:This is interesting and true, but none of this art is repulsive, nor is it meant to be.
Greta wrote:Most art that most people would consider repulsive wasn't designed to be so. The artist simply didn't consider the tastes of mainstream audiences. Just as the mainstream artist doesn't care that they repel some experimental artists, the experimental tend not to think about who they might repel - unless using repulsion to make a point.
Firstly, you still haven't pointed out any art that most people would consider repulsive, so you need to do that before assuming it exists. Secondly, the repulsiveness of Art isn't entirely dependent on the receivers of the art. A literally repulsive piece of pedophilia may not repulse any pedophiles at a pedophilia "showing.' That doesn't change the fact that pedophilia is truly repulsive.

And I'm very aware experimental artists don't care about whom they repel, that doesn't change the fact no repulsive artworks by experimental artists are Art or generally considered so. However, you are still free to provide some examples of actually repulsive Art, not just works of Art some consider repulsive. Some people consider Cat in the Hat or Macbeth repulsive; that doesn't make them so.

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Greta
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Re: Can art be repulsive?

Post by Greta » Tue Sep 29, 2015 8:57 am

White Sky wrote:And I'm very aware experimental artists don't care about whom they repel, that doesn't change the fact no repulsive artworks by experimental artists are Art or generally considered so. However, you are still free to provide some examples of actually repulsive Art, not just works of Art some consider repulsive. Some people consider Cat in the Hat or Macbeth repulsive; that doesn't make them so.
Yes, that is correct. "One man's meat is another man's poison" as they say. Solid effort by you to ask for a followup on Merzbow - most shrink in horror at that point :)

I personally find thrash and death metal to be repulsive music - in fact, it feels like an assault. When I was young I liked old school heavy metal bordering on cock rock like Black Sabbath and Deep Purple. I enjoyed the intensity, the dumb masculine display behaviour and, as a fan of horror movies at the time, the cartoonish doomy moods. Now I am older, less robust, more genteel. I can't handle most metal these days for more than a few seconds. When I was young and attractive(ish) I liked heels and today I own none and consider them to be instruments of bondage and torture. Different stuff for different eras and different stages of life.

Autotuned, hyper-compressed modern techno pop sounds as oppressive to me as metal. If I was forty years younger I'd probably enjoy the energy and baboon-like sexuality of it.

Sometimes music (and no doubt art) is intended to repel, to be exclusionary. Rock n' roll and heavy rock annoyed our parents, and we liked that fact because we (accurately) thought them in need of loosening up. Technical classical and jazz today tends to exclude lowbrow elements by refusing to play to the LCD. Black bebop musicians tired of playing "politely" for white audiences and adding increasing edge to their music to appeal to black audiences. Punks were famously keen to grate and annoy. Rappers rebelled against the demands of melody and harmony. Nineties grunge rebelled against the sterile effeteness of the 80s pop.

The exclusionary approach is like a secret handshake to a particular social group, especially in youth culture.

White Sky
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Re: Can art be repulsive?

Post by White Sky » Tue Sep 29, 2015 5:46 pm

White Sky wrote:And I'm very aware experimental artists don't care about whom they repel, that doesn't change the fact no repulsive artworks by experimental artists are Art or generally considered so. However, you are still free to provide some examples of actually repulsive Art, not just works of Art some consider repulsive. Some people consider Cat in the Hat or Macbeth repulsive; that doesn't make them so.
Greta wrote:Yes, that is correct. "One man's meat is another man's poison" as they say. Solid effort by you to ask for a followup on Merzbow - most shrink in horror at that point :)
No solid effort was required since you neither established Merzbow was essentially repulsive or Art.
Greta wrote:I personally find thrash and death metal to be repulsive music - in fact, it feels like an assault. When I was young I liked old school heavy metal bordering on cock rock like Black Sabbath and Deep Purple. I enjoyed the intensity, the dumb masculine display behaviour and, as a fan of horror movies at the time, the cartoonish doomy moods. Now I am older, less robust, more genteel. I can't handle most metal these days for more than a few seconds. When I was young and attractive(ish) I liked heels and today I own none and consider them to be instruments of bondage and torture. Different stuff for different eras and different stages of life.

Autotuned, hyper-compressed modern techno pop sounds as oppressive to me as metal. If I was forty years younger I'd probably enjoy the energy and baboon-like sexuality of it.
All you have said here is what you find repulsive; you said nothing about what art is inherently repulsive or why.
Greta wrote:Sometimes music (and no doubt art) is intended to repel, to be exclusionary. Rock n' roll and heavy rock annoyed our parents, and we liked that fact because we (accurately) thought them in need of loosening up. Technical classical and jazz today tends to exclude lowbrow elements by refusing to play to the LCD. Black bebop musicians tired of playing "politely" for white audiences and adding increasing edge to their music to appeal to black audiences. Punks were famously keen to grate and annoy. Rappers rebelled against the demands of melody and harmony. Nineties grunge rebelled against the sterile effeteness of the 80s pop.

Firstly, you haven't established what Art is meant to repel. Secondly, even if Art is meant to repel a certain group, it doesn't make the Art inherently repulsive. John Lennon certainly wanted to repel certain people; that didn't make his Art repulsive. The same goes for the rappers, punks, and grunge rockers you mentioned. Very often their attempts to repel were the very thing that made their Art Art and not repulsive.

So, you still haven't given me an example of inherently repulsive Art. I'm still looking forward to it.

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Greta
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Re: Can art be repulsive?

Post by Greta » Wed Sep 30, 2015 12:12 am

"Repulsiveness" is subjective. Obviously. There is no "absolute repulsiveness". I didn't think I've given that impression.

Merzbow is art BTW, just not art to most people's taste.

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Re: Can art be repulsive?

Post by Walker » Sun Nov 08, 2015 10:35 am

Greta wrote:"Repulsiveness" is subjective. Obviously. There is no "absolute repulsiveness". I didn't think I've given that impression.

Merzbow is art BTW, just not art to most people's taste.
Hello.

In out-noising the head noise of machines in order to comment on the sensory blend-into-babble of technology, or enabled by technology, subtle it ain’t. It’s only art in the sense that philosophically it challenges the assumption of ubiquitous beauty, and it challenges the empirical life experience of realizing that beauty is a discovery of what is always present. The noise of Merzbow dares one to look away from the truth of what it is, and for non-blinkers who live by truth, it presents an empty challenge.

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