Art and the values of the University

A comment yesterday on Stanford’s decision to abandon the installation of the Oppenheim sculpture “Device to root out evil”. [Link]

Why, might I ask, did you invite the Scotty (ed – Stanford’s Dean of Religious Life) into the process? What possible influence should he have on whether a work of art is or is not approved – regardless of it’s controversial aspect vis a vis religion. All art is arguably “religious” and all art gores someone’s ox. We all have to take turns on that score and it’s a good thing! It’s what broadens our minds and perspectives which is the only hope this multiplicitous world has. This decision by Hennessey and co. is reprehensible. He should be sacked! More importantly, the decision represents a precedent that cannot be allowed to stand. The fundamental values of our academic community are at stake. I, for one, intend to pursue a course of action that broadens dissemination of this story toward shaming my dear alma mater into reversing this decision. ’nuff said.

-J-

Art is either plagiarism or revolution.
Paul Gauguin

Comment by Jeff Schwartz – 10/1/2004 @ 5:11 pm

The Stanford Report contacted me too. I am very wary of the press – have had few happy experiences of them. But I reiterated that contemporary art does generate controversy and, for many of us, this is interesting. But it should come as no surprise that some do find the needling comment and critique a problem.