Immoral Art?

Ai Weiwei - The White House

When art decided to assert its autonomy towards the end of the 19th century, it intended to free itself from social and moral norms that had been hanging over the creative process throughout art history. The vast majority of art pieces were not intended just to please the senses and formal beauty was in the service of political and religious preoccupations.


In this Olio, we will be wondering about the origin of moral judgments towards art pieces whether it be from the artist’s perspective or the spectator’s. We will also question the legitimacy of certain frontiers that have been traced between art and non-art and to what extent these frontiers have to do with the moral judgment about the pieces at hand?

Specifically, the relationship between art and ethics raises multiple questions for us to explore:

Can art within itself be qualified as immoral or moral?

Can the aesthetic experience conceivably free itself from any ethical consideration? 

Should we be speaking about ethical responsibility when we consider the social role of an artist?




Location: Mathew Gallery

46 CANAL STREET NEW YORK NY 10002

Mathew Gallery is a contemporary art gallery focusing on post conceptual art with locations in Berlin and New York.




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Other upcoming Olios


Jan 24

Living Room Salon | Tough Poetry in Dark Times

Taught by Geoff Klock
7:30 p.m. at Living Room

Sign Up - $15

Jan 31

The Dangerous Pleasure of Art

Taught by Geoff Klock
7:30 p.m. at Blender Workspace

Sign Up - $20

Feb 1

Feb 2

OlioHouse | Our Stories, Our Bodies: Rape Culture in American History

Taught by Jamie Warren
noon at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

Sign Up - $150

Feb 6

Olio Seminar | Space, Time, & Work: Understanding Labor

Taught by Lauren Hudson
7:30 p.m. at Berg'n

Sign Up - $75

Feb 9

OlioHouse | The Love Symposium

Taught by Skye Cleary
noon at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

Sign Up - $150

Feb 15

A Good Friend is Hard to Find: Philosophy and Friendship

Taught by Jeanne Proust
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

Feb 21

Living Room Salon | Music and Environmentalism

Taught by Kristy Barbacane
7 p.m. at Living Room

Sign Up - $15

Feb 22

The Circular Road: Art and the Religious Imagination

Taught by Michael Prettyman
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

Feb 25

What Would Buffy Do? Radical Feminism and the Slayer

Taught by Jamie Warren
7:30 p.m. at Neuehouse Madison Sq.

Sign Up - $20

Feb 28

Into the Mystic: Music & the Moving Image

Taught by Whitney George
7:30 p.m. at Blender Workspace

Sign Up - $20

May 17

Rethinking Refugee Trauma and Mental Health

Taught by Kim Nguyen
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

May 29

Composing Beauty: Mapplethorpe’s Quest for Perfection

Taught by Jeanne Proust
7 p.m. at BAM Fisher

Sign Up - $20


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