Art, Censorship & Morality

The German filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl was a) a Nazi propagandist or (b) a great artist? or (c) both of these? Photographer Joel-Peter Witkin, artists Jeff Koons, Egon Schiele and Balthus poet Ezra Pound - to name a few - have all produced works many people find deeply disturbing. Can art be immoral or pornographic? And if so does that mean, for that reason, it can't be great art? What, if anything, should limit artistic freedom? 

Interviewed by Nigel Warburton at London's Tate Britain Matthew discusses art, morality and censorship as part of the OU/BBC Ethics Bites series. The podcast is also available for free on iTunes and iTunesU.

 

The Resonances of Art

We disagree about good, bad or indifferent art, often giving general reasons for our judgements. Yet psychology shows that what we appreciate varies according to our personalities, cultural attachments and experiences. Can we make sense of why we love our favourite works whilst doing justice to the idea that artistic value should be recognized by all?