Functions of the Artist: An Analysis of What Art Accomplishes as an Integral Part of our Culture
Artists have to “represent” • (1) to challenge or upset the status quo (be a renegade or watchdog/defendant for the people/individual)
Re(examine) taboo to possibly force or inspire change • (2) to explore or expose the “taboo” • “taboo” = • (adjective) proscribed by society as improper or unacceptable; • (noun) a prohibition or interdiction of anything; exclusion from use or practice; exclusion from social relations; ostracism (dictionary.com)
Ken Kesey • The system is not good for everyone, so let’s expose and explore what’s wrong with it to make it better for the individuals who live within the system.
Sasha Baron Cohen • Borat & Bruno
Madonna • Like a Virgin
Eminem • “White America”
If not artists, then who? • (3) to discuss the "undiscussable" (and make us wonder at what point do we draw our personal lines, regarding decency)
Philosophize for/with us • (4) to make us wonder philosophical notions such as if honesty = truth
Teach, show, amuse • (5) to instruct and delight the reader
Improve, increase perspectives • (6) to make us explore our beliefs, views, ethics, feelings...
Brokeback Mountain • Ang Lee directed this conflicted film. • Heath Ledger & Jake Gyllenhaal play these cowboys, who may be homosexual, but they are tough, iconic, handsome husbands and fathers.
Functions of Fiction, a great art form • Show beauty and possibilities of language. • Create meaning; make events matter. • Make symbols mean something. • Make nothing mean something. • Order, structure, and understand the world. • Order and attempt to understand what it means to be "human." • Open the world up to us.
Understand life. • Understand self. • Lift our spirits. • Reveal, examine, explore, show, explode something. • Teach us something (stories can accomplish this better than lectures, right?). • Relate past to present to future. • Give us perspective. • Make us wonder.