Art Censorship Essay Research Paper From matthewksproulrosehulmanedu

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Art Censorship Essay, Research Paper From: To: QUICKPAPERS@TOTALLY.NET Subject: Submit a paperDate: Sunday, November 09, 1997 5:59 PMTitle: Art CensorshipCategory: EnglishDescription:Body of paper: Everywhere people go they are affected by art. Some persons choose art museums, musicals, operas, or plays for entertainment. A lot of people may not attend events like these, but they will encounter art everywhere around them. Magazines, books, billboards, buildings, movies, parks, and city plazas are just a few of the places where art is located. Society cannot escape art, nor should it want to. Art speaks to our emotions and makes a connection to our lives. For some people movies, music, or books provide this connection, for others it may be

sculptures, playwrights, or paintings (Heins 5). Art and entertainment often make political statements and move people to action. Unfortunately these political statements are causing a cultural war in the United States. The place of the arts in society and what role government should assume in supporting them is being questioned. Who is to judge what art is worthy of funding and what art is not? The government is trying to mandate standards of content and taste (Heins 4). The cutting of federal funds that go towards artistic programs, which the government considers obscene, is unconstitutional and a form of censorship. There are three strong point that need to be examined when dealing with art censorship. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Nobody can clearly define obscene

art. Second, since the United States is a democratic nation, the government should not be able to instruct artists on which art they can or cannot create. Finally, if society is to expand as a whole, how can it possibly grow when other people’s differences are not accepted?One man’s junk is another man’s treasure. The definition of obscene varies greatly from one person to another. Some dictionaries might define obscene as offensive to accepted standards of decency, or maybe it means having lustful and indecent feelings. The United States Government says that obscenity includes depiction’s of sadomasochism, homoeroticism, the exploitation of children, or individuals engaged in sex acts (William 85). The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is the government agency that

decides which artistic programs will receive federal funding. The NEA was established in the 1960’s, and has played a highly constructive role in the past. Since its establishment the numbers of major dance companies, operas, and orchestras have steadily increased (Gergen 80). Unfortunately it has come under strong attack recently for funding obscene art. To counterpart its opposition, the NEA announced that some grants would be denied on grounds other than artistic merit (William 85). This statement satisfied the critics, but angered many artists and performers. The obscenity clause is an exception to the first amendment. Basically right now, federal and state governments may censor any form of artistic expression (Heins 4). “Works of art reflect the imaginations, fears, and

fantasies of their creators, or of society” (Heins 7). Art is not always comforting and beautiful. It reflects reality sometimes, and surprisingly those images do not make the reality go away (Heins 7). When people look at so called obscene works of art they are not immediately persuaded to go out and imitate the images, yet many small minded individuals disagree. These activists state that government is not restricting free speech, but that it is restricting paid speech (Leo 18). This is true to a certain degree, but it is wrong for the government to mandate funding. Only a communist style government would deny grants to pictures, paintings, or musicals that they did not find appealing, or acceptable to their own personal morals. In this democratic nation, where the freedom of