Censorship, and Transgression (Art, Society)
Much like Zhuangzi used maimed men to problematize class and ritual in Chinese society, modern artists, thinkers, philosopher, and writers, have used social taboo and transgression in their work- not only to shock- but to confront dominant sensibilities and challenge preconceptions. Transgressive themes, particularly popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, are once more being utilized to challenge conventional thinking and reason- and are ubiquitous elements of many 21st century media, Horror movies, Extreme musical genres, and modern art to name a few, exist almost exclusively to viciously confronting the problems of modern life, in strange, shocking, assaultive, and potentially violent ways.
What is the purpose of employing intentionally shocking imagery? What is the strength it carries and how is it employed? This assignment will require you to acquire a personal understanding of what transgressive and countercultural mean, and how they are employed. After you have done some research, you will compose your own work of transgressive art, as well as a short essay, explaining what you have created, how it fits into your understanding of ‘transgressive’ (or countercultural, antinomian, avante-garde), and social issues.
Below is a list of a variety of thinkers varyingly dubbed Transgressive or counter-cultural, I would not encourage you to look all of them up, but if your own research isn’t turning up anything viable, these may be good places to start.
(Antonin Artuad, George Bataille, Tristan Tzara, Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari, Fad Gadget, Marilyn Manson, G.G. Allin, Dario Argento, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Kenneth Anger, Salvador Dali, John Waters, J.G. Ballard, Alistair Crowley, Anton Lavey, The Guhuyasamāja Tantra, Zhuangzi, Liehtzi.)
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