Perhaps a proof of the saying comes in the, what some would classify as disturbing, form of the music, persona, and performance of the American pop star Miley Cyrus.
Whether or not one considers the productions of Cyrus art is contentious in itself; for the purposes of this paper and according to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, art may be defined as an entity “intentionally endowed by their makers with a significant degree of aesthetic interest, often surpassing that of most everyday objects” (Stanford). Those who condemn the girl who carries “the torch of sexually provocative pop stars,” ultimately call for the condemnation, suppression, and censorship of art (Feeny).
Artistic freedom serves as an indicator of the health of a society at its root.
A society able to withstand the condemnation of a single artist or stand in the wake of “Gadfly” in any form proves stability at the core.
The experiment of free artistic expression as demonstrated by Cyrus underscores the need of free speech; discussion is healthy and discussion often stems from art.
The implications of producing provocative, crude, or even bad art in the eyes of some may very well end up tainting a society at its core; Jean-Jacques Rousseau makes that very contention.
Another piece, Fragments, displayed in a show in 2005, creates a map of China from the fragments of ancient Qing era temples (Stevens).
The idea of Ai is a criticism of the present on the back of the future.
Such destructive art, in the eyes of a particular group or individual, must remain on an even playing field as other forms art, for what, excepting content and form, differentiates pictorial art in the form of a Picasso painting from performance art in the form of a Miley Cyrus video?
A society should never differentiate art based upon a measure of disturbance, crudeness, or distaste.