‘You can, but why would you?’

Explaining matters of ‘taste’ to my children is, I expect, going to be a minefield. I want my kids to be free to have opinions, and to voice those opinions even if they are controversial. So how do you explain that some things are ‘in bad taste’ without basically saying ‘I (your parent) don’t like it’, or ‘The majority of society doesn’t like it’ and therefore it is ‘wrong’?

The way I think I might deal with this issue is by saying, ‘You could, of course, do/say/think XYZ, but why would you?’ If you can justify it, great. If you can’t, then reconsider, are you really making a point or just being controversial for the sake of being controversial?

A new art installation was the springboard for this post. It consists of inflatable pieces displayed in a public area. One of them is called ‘Complex Pile’. This is an inflatable in the shape of a pile of human excrement.

To me, in my non-art-background opinion, this is in bad taste and a mockery of public art. From a quick research into this piece, it seems that being distasteful in public is part of what the artist was trying to convey.

Great, he has succeeded, but this takes me back to my phase. The artist is free to do this. The museum who sponsored it is free to exhibit it. But why would they do so? Are you making a point that we are free to display what we like, where we like? And if this is a celebration of freedom, or meant to jump-start a discussion of public art, was this really the best way to do it?

2 thoughts on “‘You can, but why would you?’

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