Modern art or only porn?

Alle volte osservando alcune foto come quelle che seguono  chiedo a me stessa cosa sia  arte e cosa pornografia. Credo fermamente che la frontiera tra i due sia  legata alla propria zona di conforto. Ho esplorato questo strano argomento e qui condivido ciò che ho scoperto.

Sometimes observing some photos like those you may find here I ask my self what is art and what is porn. I firmly believe that the border between the two is linked with our individual comfort zone. I explored this strange argument and here I share  what I discovered.


DEFINITION

Pornography or porn is the portrayal of explicit sexual subject matter for the purposes of sexual excitement and erotic satisfaction.

Art is the process or product of deliberately arranging elements in a way to affect the senses or emotions.

ART-Etymology and History

early 13c., “skill as a result of learning or practice,” from O.Fr. art, from L. artem (nom. ars) “art, skill, craft,” from PIE *ar-ti- (cf. Skt. rtih  “manner, mode;” Gk. arti “just,” artios “complete;” Armenian arnam  “make;” Ger. art “manner, mode”), from base *ar- “fit together, join” (see arm (1)). In M.E. usually with sense of “skill in scholarship and learning” (c.1300), especially in the seven sciences, or liberal arts. This sense remains in Bachelor of Arts, etc. Meaning “human workmanship” (as opposed to nature) is from late 14c. Sense of “cunning and trickery” first attested c.1600. Meaning “skill in creative arts” is first recorded 1620; esp. of painting, sculpture, etc., from 1660s. Broader sense of the word remains in artless (1580s). As an adj. meaning “produced with conscious artistry (as opposed to popular  or folk) it is attested from 1890, possibly from infl. of Ger. kunstlied “art song” (cf. art film, 1960; art rock, c.1970). Fine arts, “those which appeal to the mind and the imagination” first recorded 1767. Expression art for art’s sake  (1836) translates Fr. l’art pour l’art. First record of art critic is from 1865. Arts and crafts “decorative design and handcraft” first attested in the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society, founded in London, 1888.

An object regarded as Art today may not have been perceived as such when it was first made, nor was the person who made it necessarily regarded as an artist. Both the notion of “art” and the idea of the “artist” are relatively modern terms.

Many of the objects we identify as art today — Greek painted pottery, medieval manuscript illuminations, and so on — were made in times and places when people had no concept of “art” as we understand the term. These objects may have been appreciated in various ways and often admired, but not as “art” in the current sense.

The idea of an object being a “work of art” emerges, together with the concept of the Artist, in the 15th and 16th centuries in Italy.

During the Renaissance, the word Art emerges as a collective term encompassing Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture, a grouping given currency by the Italian artist and biographer Giorgio Vasari in the 16th century. Subsequently, this grouping was expanded to include Music and Poetry which became known in the 18th century as the ‘Fine Arts’. These five Arts have formed an irreducible nucleus from which have been generally excluded the ‘decorative arts’ and ‘crafts’, such as as pottery, weaving, metalworking, and furniture making, all of which have utility as an end.

During the Renaissance, there emerged a more exalted perception of art, and a concomitant rise in the social status of the artist. The painter and the sculptor were now seen to be subject to inspiration and their activities equated with those of the poet and the musician.

In the early 20th century all traditional notions of the identity of the artist and of art were thrown into disarray by Marcel Duchamp and his Dada associates. In ironic mockery of the Renaissance tradition which had placed the artist in an exalted authoritative position, Duchamp, as an artist, declared that anything the artist produces is art. For the duration of the 20th century, this position has complicated and undermined how art is perceived but at the same time it has fostered a broader, more inclusive assessment of art.

PORN-Etymology and History

1857, “description of prostitutes,” from Fr. pornographie,  from Gk. pornographos “(one) writing of prostitutes,” from porne “prostitute,” originally “bought, purchased” (with an original notion, probably of “female slave sold for prostitution;” related to pernanai  “to sell,” from PIE root per- “to traffic in, to sell,” cf. L. pretium “price”) + graphein “to write.” Originally used of classical art and writing; application to modern examples began 1880s. Main modern meaning “salacious writing or pictures” represents a slight shift from the etymology, though classical depictions of prostitution usually had this quality.

Depictions of a sexual nature are as old as civilization (and possibly older, in the form of venus figurines and rock art), but the concept of pornography as understood today did not exist until the Victorian era. Nineteenth century legislation outlawed the publication, retail and trafficking of certain writings and images, regarded as pornographic, and would order the destruction of shop and warehouse stock, meant for sale. However, the private possession of and viewing of (some forms of) pornography was not made an offence until recent times.

When large scale excavations of Pompei were undertaken in the 1860s, much of the erotic art of the Romans came to light, shocking the Victorians who saw themselves as the intellectual heirs of the Roman Empire. They did not know what to do with the frank depictions of sexuality, and endeavored to hide them away from everyone but upper class scholars. The moveable objects were locked away in the Secret Museum in Naples and what could not be removed was covered and cordoned off as to not corrupt the sensibilities of women, children and the working class. Soon after, the world’s first law criminalizing pornography was enacted by the Parliament of the United Kingdom in 1857 in the Obscene Publications Act.

The Victorian attitude that pornography was for a select few can be seen in the wording of the Hicklin test stemming from a court case in 1868 where it asks, “whether the tendency of the matter charged as obscenity is to deprave and corrupt those whose minds are open to such immoral influences.” Despite the fact of their suppression, depictions of erotic imagery were common throughout history.

The beginning of the 20th century was an era of boom for pornography.  Visual and print materials with explicit sexual content were mass produced and an industry was gradually starting to grow.  Whereas in the past centuries, sexual works of art and literature wereenjoyed by a limited social class, in the modern period of technology, the masses realized that access to such works was not the impossible.  With the invention of film, there were new boundaries for those who created pornography.  In the 70’s and 80’s,  with the availibility of the VCR, there was even more access to pornography; people could now view it within the confines of their home.  Since the 90’s,the boundaries have been pushed by introducing new concepts and features into pornographic works.  The tendency is now to try as many new things as possible in what many pornographers claim to be “unique, and exciting.”

You Must Decide for Yourself

When it comes to judging content, your definition of what’s unacceptable, pornographic might well differ from someone else’s. Furthermore, not everyone agrees on what material is sexually explicit.

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