Censorship is usually considered “official” censorship because it is action taken by governmental institutions such as government committees, or universities, to limit the view of a specific artwork or a group of works by the public. However, these concrete official actions taken to limit public view of specific artwork are only the results of the abstract “censoring attitudes” of individuals or groups of individuals, encouraging the actions. Censoring attitudes can arise from feelings of race or gender discrimination, discrimination against the gay community, fear of taboos and controversially issues, and assumed moral or Christian authority. It is these attitudes that are the basis of censorship, not necessarily the artist’s intentions of their artwork, because each individual viewer of the artist’s specific piece will unconsciously project his/her own anxieties and fears into the artist’s artwork. What drives the individual to censor the artist’s work is the product of their attitudes being reflected in the subject matter of the artwork, and the result of censorship is keeping the artist’s work from being exposed or even from being created.
A mutually supportive relationship between artists and society would be the ideal under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Our society would recognize and support an expanded role for artists. Free and diverse artistic expressions are vital for challenging people to rethink their assumptions and for educating people about past and present issues. We should oppose censorship in the arts, and encourage individual and social expression by artists. Only by supporting the voice...
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... money, and of course the committee voted to pass the amendment. The result of the committee was the “Miller test” that labeled art as obscene when “the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value” (378). But according to whose values? If the jury’s values differ from that of the artist, who defiantly considers his work serious, the artist expression is limited.
Another example was the criticism made by Dr. Judith Reisman who disagreed that Mapplethorpe’s photographs were art because they “failed to express human emotion” because of the sexual images(379). But this statement also requires the question, by whose values? Maybe they do not show human emotion to her because she believes only traditional “beautiful” things can invoke emotion, but they may invoke emotions in other viewers, which is the artist's purpose.
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