Posing Questions of Art, Taste, and Censorship
CHESTERTOWN, MD—The provocative exhibition ArtNOW: Philadelphia currently on display in Kohl Gallery on the Washington College campus has raised some interesting questions about the purpose and parameters of art. A panel of artists and educators will explore those questions on Tuesday, February 25, at 5 p.m. in Litrenta Lecture Hall, Toll Science Center.
“Art, Taste, and Censorship: A Discussion of Responsibility in Exhibition Practice,” will feature two of the artists featured in the exhibition, Leslie Friedman and Amze Emmons, as well as Washington College Provost and Dean Emily Chamlee-Wright and two members of the Art Department faculty, Benjamin Bellas and Alex Castro. Bellas is curator of the artNOW: Philadelphia exhibition, and Castro is interim director of the Kohl Gallery.
The most controversial piece in the exhibit is Friedman’s neo-Pop installation “Tastier,” which includes a looping video of a woman stimulating herself. Chestertown Spy’s reviewer Mary McCoy described the work as “purposefully crass and annoying,” adding that “Friedman is less concerned with the aesthetics of art than with the way we communicate and build our belief systems.” The work has prompted questions about censorship, which will be addressed in Tuesday’s panel.
Dean Chamlee-Wright says the exhibition has evoked “a wide range of responses, from antipathy to sympathy, and in doing so has sparked conversation about the various reasons we may feel uncomfortable when we encounter challenging works like these. This is what art is supposed to do,” she adds.