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"Aftershock - The Ethics of Contemporary Transgressive Art"
by Kieran Cashell

The work of artists like Damien Hirst, the Chapman brothers or Tracey Emin has ignited a controversy which shows no signs of abating – how to classify them, how to assess them, how to understand them, and how should we react to them? The potentially shocking nature of these works has led to their being classified as Transgressive Art.

Kieran Cashell's book contributes an informative discussion of Transgressive Art. The material he chooses for analysis includes works by the named artists and a selection of their peers – all exhibitors in the controversial and by now legendary Sensation exhibition of the Royal Academy of Arts that shocked London in 1997.

Cashell does not limit himself to artworks and statements by their creators, he also examines the conventional approaches of art critics to these works. Here he expresses his own views without reserve – not hesitating to point out any weaknesses or errors he sees in the work of other commentators.

Unlike most published commentaries on Transgressive Art, which are largely concerned with questions of form, Kieran Cashell widens the scope to cover ethical and emotional aspects. Where most critics are content to remain near the surface, he dives deeper, employing the philosophy of Kant, Hume or Freud to reveal the fundamental nature, the hidden essence at the center of a work of art. This method gives rise to surprising and, for some people, disturbing assertions. For example, that a work of art which is an aesthetic and moral failure, can still be an important work from the point of view of ethics.

A powerful and demanding book, which can be recommended to anyone with an actual or potential interest in Transgressive Art.


ArtVista/WM/23-11-2009
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Aftershock
Format: 23,4 x 15,6 cm
Pages:272
Binding:paperback
Year: 2009
Edition: English
ISBN: 9781845115241