Wed 29 Sep 2021 @ 19.25
Assembly Festival Garden: Piccolo
Duration: 90 minutes
*You will be transferred to an external ticketing website.
This event is recommended for ages 16+ (Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult)
Produced by Academy of Ideas in Association with Coventry City of Culture Trust.
Battle of Ideas is a panel debate featuring experts and critics from the cultural world and beyond. After each panellist gives some short introductory remarks, at least half the session is given over to debate with questions and points from the audience. This event has been produced by Academy of Ideas and forms part of Battle of Ideas Festival 2021.
Creative freedom: can we separate art from the artist?
Oscar Wilde once said: ‘There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.’ However, literary and artistic works are increasingly judged by the behaviour or beliefs of their creators. Over recent years, the practice of ‘cancelling’ high profile artists and other celebrities, in other words culturally blocking an individual from having prominent public exposure, has become a polarising topic of debate.
Philip Larkin, Scarlett Johansson and Wiley are just a few who are being ‘cancelled’ as a result of their words or actions. To many people, this process of publicly calling for accountability has become an important tool of social justice. Others think the moral character of the artist has no bearing on the worth of the art. Nick Cave says cancel culture has an ‘asphyxiating effect on the creative soul of a society’.
Should we cleanse cinemas of Kevin Spacey and Roman Polanski movies or banish Picasso and Caravaggio canvases from our galleries? Should the views and actions of artists be treated differently to those of other offensive celebrities? Should art be policed on the basis of whether its creators are sending the right message - and, if so, what are the implications for artists themselves?