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Unsettling Sensation,9780813529356

Unsettling Sensation

Format: Paperback
Pub. Date: 8/1/2001
Publisher(s): Rutgers Univ Pr


In September 1999, Sensation, an exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, opened its doors, igniting a controversy still burning in the art world. This collection of cutting-edge art from the Saatchi collection in England, and the museum's arrangements with Charles Saatchi to finance the show, so offended New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani that he attempted to shut the museum down by withholding city funds that are crucially needed by that institution. Only a legal ruling prevented him from doing so. Like the Robert Mapplethorpe exhibit before it, Sensation once again raises questions about public spending for "controversial" art, but with the added dimension of religious conflict and charges of commercialization.

The contributors to this volume use the Sensation exhibition as a stepping-stone to analyze larger questions such as the authority the government has to withhold funds, various interpretations of the First Amendment, how to respect divergent cultural and religious values, and the economic stake of museums and dealers in art. In their articles -- written

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface xi
D. Carroll Joynes
Introduction: The Interests in ``Sensation'' 1(14)
Lawrence Rothfield
Part I Mapping the Minefield
The Brooklyn Controversy: A View from the Bridge
Carol Becker
The Marriage of Art and Business
Richard A. Epstein
Part II Art and the First Amendment
The Questions of Free Speech
Geoffrey R. Stone
Culture and the Constitution: A Guide for the Perplexed
Cass R. Sunstein
The False Promise of the First Amendment
David A. Strauss
Reasons We Shouldn't Be Here: Things We Cannot Say
Stephen B. Presser
Who Should Pay (for the Arts and Culture)? Who Should Decide? And What Difference Should It Make?
J. Mark Schuster
Part III Art Off-Limits: Public Respect and the Reading of Art
The Subjunctive Mood of Art
Homi K. Bhabha
An All-Too-Predictable Sensation
David A. Ross
Sensational or Status Quo: Museums and Public Perception
Teri J. Edelstein
Offending Images
W.J.T. Mitchell
The Attitude of the Audience for ``Sensation'' and of the General Public toward Controversial Works of Art
David Halle
Elisabeth Tiso
Gihong Yi
Part IV Shock Value: Market-Making for Controversial Art
Shop Value
John Brewer
``Sensation'' and the Ethics of Funding Exhibitions
James Cuno
Some Sensational Reflections
Gilbert S. Edelson
Don't Shoot the Messenger: Why the Art World and the Press Don't Get Along
Andras Szanto
Afterword 199(8)
Kimerly Rorscach
About the Contributors 207(1)

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