What is art? Is there a way to define it in a single piece of artwork? Is it even something that can be seen, or does it have to be experienced? The word “art” is so amorphous that it may refer to almost anything. Art, however, should liberate our minds and allow us to explore our unconscious. It puts into visual form what we feel and think, allowing us to delve into our inner selves and satisfy that need for knowledge regarding ourselves and the universe around us.
Art allows us to look beyond the ordinary and see what lies within our hearts without being deceived by reality. It isn’t intended to produce a picture when an artist creates a work of art; instead, it is intended to evoke a feeling or mood. The goal is to communicate emotion and, perhaps, induce the viewer to feel that same sensation. Ultimately, the intention behind the painting was what mattered most. “The most essential thing in painting is the artist’s intent.” says Picasso.” What matters is not what one does but rather what one wants to do. In the end, it was all about intention.”
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What happens, however, when artists are judged solely on their ultimate product with no regard for the work’s intended purpose? Censorship occurs. That’s right; in the United States, “Land of the Free,” another artist succumb to The Censor every day. Every day, people around the world are suppressed – by school administrators, library staff members, committee chairpersons, and even government officials – despite constitutional rights. It’s time we all fought for our freedom of speech and banned censorship.
In September, the Brooklyn Museum of Art planned an exhibit entitled “Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection,” a world tour of controversial artwork that had previously been exhibited in Germany and England. The exhibit, as well as the majority of the museum’s other works on display, was to be paid for by the National Endowment for the Arts.
The National Endowment for the Arts was created as a government agency to “nurture the expression of human creativity, support the cultivation of community spirit, and foster the recognition and appreciation of the excellence and diversity of our nation’s artistic accomplishments”. The organization refused to share a portion of its $98,000 budgeted funds until several weeks before the exhibit was set to open.
At that time, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani threatened to withdraw city funding from the museum if it didn’t remove the work. The Mayor called the show “sick” and “anti-Catholic” before making no secret of his objections based on his personal distaste for the exhibits. He took issue with Chris Ofili’s use of elephant dung in The Holy Virgin Mary painting because he disapproved of its message.
An elephant dung painting by Ben Nicholson, also known as a British artist of Nigerian descent, is one such piece. As an observant Catholic himself, he rejects that his work is anti-Catholic or anti-religious. He intended the dung to represent life and providence, but Guiliani would not be appeased with this simple explanation. His threats to withdraw financial assistance were unshakable.
“The people who are attacking this painting are attacking their own opinions, not mine,” said Jacob Lawrence, the artist. “It may as well say, ‘I only like Picasso and if you don’t show it to me I’ll cut your money,’ because it’s pure censorship,’” Damien Hirst remarked. He might be correct; on September 28th, the Brooklyn Museum of Art filed a lawsuit against the city over the mayor’s warning to freeze millions of dollars in funds.
The court ruled in favor of the Brooklyn Museum of Art and against New York City and Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani on November 1st, to the delight of museum officials and art lovers across the country. Even those who privately opposed “Sensation” and the way it was handled by the Brooklyn Museum couldn’t help but feel that their own fates had been at stake as well.
The decision concerned the interpretation of the First Amendment, which enables a public museum to showcase art without fear of financial penalty if a government official finds it offensive. The battle against censorship was narrowly won in this case, and it will not be the last.
There are still some who believe that “the city” has the right to choose which artwork to support. “People can do what they want to do and draw what they like,” according to Senator Bob Smith, but “the government does not have to fund this garbage.” He is not alone in his views.
In May, an attorney for New York City’s Mayor Michael D. Hess sent several letters to the museum’s director, Arnold L. Lehman, informing him that the museum “cannot go forward with the exhibit as planned,” and threatening to not only cease financial assistance but also threaten the museum’s lease if it opened as intended.
The Diocese of Brooklyn’s Bishop Dolan said, “Just because I’m a bishop doesn’t give me any special insight into why people would want to throw benches and things. If it were just about the utility and safety concerns that everyone else is talking about, then everybody could understand why we’re doing this.” The decision was also praised by Mayor Giuliani for being in the best interests of the city. A lot of criticism has centered on whether or not Mayor Giuliani’s move was in the city’s best interest.
The mayor’s action demonstrated his lack of respect for the city’s residents’ First Amendment rights, as well as his disdain for New York City’s reputation as a world-class center of art and culture. “Director Arnold Lehman and the BMA’s Board of Directors should be congratulated by the entire arts community for defending artists’ and museum-goers’ right to make their own decisions without government intervention,” said Joan Bertin, Executive Director of the National Coalition Against Censorship.
“If the city decides to support the arts, it cannot pick and choose which works are ‘offensive’ and which aren’t.” Furthermore, “Because this judgment is so broad and subjective, publicly funded art institutions would most likely have little of interest to offer beyond the most inoffensive and conventional art if it were the test,” Michelle Coffy, Program Director of the National Campaign for Freedom of Expression, adds.
It is not proper to suppress something merely because you don’t understand it or dislike it. The mayor and other critics may simply be revealing their own misunderstanding of the many cultural and artistic traditions on which artists draw, having clearly misunderstood the entire purpose of art in the first place – expression.
Freedom of expression is the right to freely express one’s opinions or ideas using any of the various communication methods available. Ideas should, however, not cause intentional damage to another person’s personality or status through fraudulent or ambiguous claims. Speech, writing, and art are three forms of communication that may be used to express ideas. Freedom of expression, unlike freedom of thought, might be limited by the relevant authorities in any society in order to avoid conflicts between individuals.
This problem is particularly acute in countries with authoritarian governments, because the government may prohibit any type of political speech. In other words, no matter who’s in power, individuals should have the right to acquire knowledge, gain access to information that others are hiding from them, and offer their own opinions.
The issue of free speech has always been contentious, particularly when political concerns are considered. A state is thought to have the authority to prevent citizens from forming organizations in which they may voice their ideas if those views might result in actual harm to other people.
However, if one were to interfere in order to achieve more advantageous results than remaining aside, it would be an exception. There should be complete freedom of expression on all issues, regardless of the subject matter, in order for one to assess the prospective outcome of a gain or a loss.
The goal for which ideas are expressed and the way in which we determine what is true or false can both be considered when weighing arguments for absolute freedom of speech. According to Mill (Eisenach, 2004), the right to express one’s opinions offers humanity a unique opportunity to correct a mistake if the idea communicated turns out to be true.
In the case that the position is incorrect, mankind has a chance of obtaining a clearer view of reality through collaboration with an error. As a result, freedom of speech serves mankind’s best interests because it strives to advance and its limitation prevents people from achieving their potential.
We tell others that we are beyond reproach by limiting or suppressing the expression of an opinion when it might be genuine. We take everything we know to be true and therefore dispel any views that question this fact. It’s possible for persons or organizations to make mistakes. For example, what we consider to be good or wrong may not always correspond with reality.
People who might have been mistaken established the boundaries for moral rights and wrongs. To establish a limit, it’s necessary to distinguish between certainty and truth. Our assurance that a certain notion is incorrect does not excuse its expression. Suppressing such a notion would not only validate our confidence in the opinion being wrong but also demonstrate that we are perfect beings.
If the restriction of people’s freedom of expression in issues like racism is based on the assurance that mankind will not lose out on any advantage, then this assurance should be grounded in the freedom itself. We can only consider ourselves certain when no opposing ideas have been presented to challenge our beliefs. As a result, we must leave room for opposing ideas in order to increase our certainty.
There are governments that limit the expression of certain ideas not because they are false, but rather because they are deemed dangerous to society. Mill claims that in such a situation, there is no way of determining whether or how harmful an opinion maybe until it is expressed freely. The only method to determine if and how hazardous an opinion is before it is expressed freely is to allow for open discussion.
In addition, if the opinion being limited is true, it must be false to some degree. All mistaken ideas have been shown to be detrimental in the long term. As a result, a government that prefers to maintain a false belief rather than a dangerous truth does not act in the best interests of its people.
In many situations, the muffled perspective is incorrect. However, most of these errors do contain a grain of truth. The contemporary viewpoint on each of the subject matters, on the other hand, frequently does not include the whole truth. An opportunity to obtain more information about the rest of the discovered facts opens up if you listen to other people’s views on the issue.
For example, two distinct parties might have competing ideas in politics. One aims to improve the system while the other seeks to maintain it. People may not be able to tell which aspects of reform should be kept or changed, but having both sides check on one another’s performance guarantees that they are held accountable for their actions (Bhargava, 2008).
Another approach to combating the formation of opinions is to help students create a mental framework that can handle any new information they acquire. Furthermore, if an idea being expressed is completely true, it may not be regarded as such with certainty. In order for confidence to emerge, these viewpoints must be opposed by other reasonable opinions from others in order to isolate the supporting arguments. It is anticipated that those who believe in their ideas will present compelling evidence in support of them (Matravers, 2001).
An authority should allow space for the public expression of opposing viewpoints if it believes in the rationality of its ideas. For instance, if a current political party has faith in the economic policies it advocates, it shouldn’t be afraid of an opposing party with contrasting ideas. After all what they believe is supported by facts (O’Rourke, 2001).
Finally, the rivalry between various points of view allows us to have a deeper grasp on our convictions. We are now able to recognize what is expected of us and are thus able to act upon it. Human ideas lack purpose, and the disputes that ensue are what feed the flames.
The belief that certain individuals are better than others by birth or superior in some other respect serves to restrict our openness to alternative possibilities (Jones, 2001). As a result, opposition expressed in freedom of speech creates room for open-mindedness while also posing a threat to hypocrisy and logical slowness.
The absence of limits on individual freedom of oppression enables the exchange of falsehood for truth and the refinement of established reality. It also promotes our confidence in opinions we consider true, as well as increases our openness and thoughtfulness. For governments, it ensures that those entrusted with country leadership have accurate views that are in line with the national interest of its people.
It is not accurate that we find ourselves in a period of history during which people’s minds and thoughts, as well as actions and behaviors, have been increasingly dominated by an ideology prevalent throughout the world. We’re living in such a time because we’ve never seen anything like it before.
The freedom to express one’s views and ideas without fear of government retaliation, reckoning, or oppression is the essence of free speech and expression.
Fourth, the freedom of the people is understood as the first condition of liberty since it maintains a prominent and essential position in the hierarchy of liberties, offering comfort and protection to all other rights. Freedom of speech and expression has roots in free discussions of current issues that may lead to calls for government misconduct.
In Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India, Bhagwati, J. held that “democracy is founded on free debate and open discussion, as the only corrective government activity in a democratic system.” “Every individual must have the right to participate in the democratic process and to be able to intelligently exercise his or her right of choice, free and general discussion of public issues is essential. “Necessary” is a word that may either put one at ease or make one anxious; it depends on your viewpoint.
The freedom of speech, which is protected in Article 19 (1) (a), corresponds to Amendment 1 of the United States Constitution, which states that Congress shall make no law establishing a religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, infringing on the freedom of speech, press, or right to peaceably assemble and petition the government for a redress of grievances. And while Article 19 (2) of India’s constitution restricts this right somewhat, it does not have any legitimate limitation.
Playing music is one of my favorite hobbies. I play the guitar and have been playing for nine years. When I went to a shop and saw a very cheap little thirty-dollar guitar, I wanted to play it.
I was eight years old at the time. I wasn’t really active during this time, and I wasn’t very social with my friends or other individuals. As a result, I felt it was past due to alter, so I considered learning to play the guitar as a good place to start. My birthday was approaching soon, so I thought it would be nice if she gave me one as a present on my birthday.
I purchased my first guitar on my ninth birthday. I was ecstatic when I received it as if I knew that in the future it would be something I liked immensely. I started to play it and decided that I wanted to improve my technique by taking lessons. Since then, I’ve been taking lessons, reading music, and learning any song that comes to mind–naturally.
Another reason I like this hobby is that it puts my mind at ease. If I get off of work late, come home from school, or am just in a sour mood, I can sit down and play a song to instantly put me in a good mood. Just putting on a CD and listening to it is the same thing, but when you make the music yourself, it’s ten times better! The pure fun and pleasure I get out of learning new songs is another perk. This is something thrilling for me: learning a new tune, building up my skills, and then writing one myself.
Another aspect of music that I enjoy is performing in front of strangers. When I ask friends over and they all sit down to listen to me play, it makes me feel good. This leads me to another point: the reason for this is that I like to demonstrate any talents I may have, and music is one of my finest abilities. That, coupled with the fact that playing a song for someone else can make them happy, is why performing for other people appeals to me so much.
There are several distinct ways to compose a song. They might put their feelings into it, or they may be influenced by another person in their life and wish to write a song about it. I, for example, have trouble expressing myself and interacting with people, but I’ve discovered that writing songs allow me to communicate without difficulty. When individuals realize who I am through the songs I’ve composed, it makes me feel fantastic.
This is one of the things I like to do in my spare time. This is the one thing that takes precedence over all of the other activities I engage in during my free time. My ambition has always been to travel as far as my music may take me, but I’ve been raised to pursue my dreams and this is mine. That would be, for others to hear my music so they can discover who I am. I hope that after reading this you have discovered something new about me or perhaps gained a better understanding of who I am as a person.
I enjoy listening to music in my free time. I play the guitar and have been doing so for almost nine years. When I went to a shop looking for a cheap little thirty-dollar guitar, I wanted to play. At the age of eight, I was already involved in music. During this time in my life, I wasn’t exactly active with friends and other folks. As a result, I felt it was past time to alter things, hence I decided to begin playing the guitar as a first step. My birthday was approaching, so I thought it would be nice to ask for one as a present.
On my ninth birthday, I was given the same guitar that I was playing in the shop. When I received it, I felt as if I already knew that it would become something that I enjoyed. As soon as I began to play it, I decided to get some lessons to improve my technique. Since then, I have been taking lessons, reading music, and learning any song that comes to mind – whether or not they are chords or lyrics.
One of the reasons I like this hobby is that it puts my mind at ease. If I get home from work or school or am in a bad mood, I can sit down and play a track, and quickly puts me at ease. Just putting on a CD and listening to it does the same thing, but when you make it yourself, it’s ten times better. Another benefit of playing music is just for the pure enjoyment and pleasure I get out of it. This is especially thrilling for me since learning a new song, learning a new scale, and then writing one are all wonderful possibilities.
Another thing I enjoy about music is performing in front of others. When I have some people over and they all sit down to listen to me play, it’s a thrill for me. This leads me to another point: this reason is that I like showing off any skills I may have, and I must say that music is one of my greatest talents. It’s possible that it’s because playing for other people makes me happy, but it’s also the fact that I can make someone else happy by playing them a song.
There is an infinite number of ways to compose a song. They can put their feelings into it, or they may be influenced by someone in their life and want to write a song about it. I, for example, find it difficult to communicate with others but have discovered that through composition I can effortlessly express myself. When individuals comprehend me through songs created by me, it makes me feel fantastic.
This is the single thing I like to do in my free time. This is the one activity that takes precedence above all of the others. With my music, I want to go everywhere it seems feasible, but I’ve been brought up to pursue my ambitions and this is the goal of my life. That would be, for me to perform for other folks so they may understand who I am as a musician. Hopefully, by reading this, you have discovered something new about me or perhaps learned something about what kind of person I am.
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