NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
PDF on ERIC Download full text
ERIC Number: EJ859052
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jul-29
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 12
ISSN: ISSN-1529-8094
The Sublime and Depictions of Violence in Some Contemporary Artworks
Johnson, Gearold; McKee, Patrick; Ragouzis, Perry
International Journal of Education & the Arts, v10 n21 Jul 2009
Images of extreme and ever more graphic violence are a part of contemporary culture. Since students cannot avoid them, such images should be addressed by aesthetic educators. But this will require a theory for the analysis and evaluation of the aesthetic properties of violent imagery. The main thesis of this essay is that depiction of violence in certain recent art works can be understood as aiming at aesthetic perception of the sublime. We develop a model for interpreting works in this way by first presenting and then drawing on Kant's analysis of aesthetic perception of the sublime. Our thesis is important for both aesthetic and moral education. According to Kant's remarkably sensitive analysis, aesthetic perception of the sublime plays a large role in developing moral and social awareness. Using Kant's theory as our main source, and drawing on some recent artworks for illustrative purposes, we offer an analysis of how artistic depiction of violence may promote moral and social awareness. We nevertheless consider images of extreme violence morally problematic, and outline a model for educating reflection on the morality of using them.
International Journal of Education & the Arts. 1310 South 6th Street, Champaign, IL 61820. Tel: 402-472-9958; Fax: 402-472-2837; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A