Separating the art from the artist (SSP and trigger warning)


#1

I think this merits discussion given everything emerging right now in light of Weinstein. It feels like a very selfish concern to have given the people who have suffered the actual crimes, but I think there’s a lot to mull over in how we should approach the art these people have been involved in creating.

I thought about this a fair bit in the context of the allegations against Michael Gira and have still not listened to Swans since. I felt particularly conflicted over the temporal aspect (i.e. is everything from before the allegation fair game?)

I think the situation is even more complicated with films/TV. Boycotting everything that, say, Weinstein was involved in is also to erasing the work that the actresses suffered in order to create. That feels like an injustice on top of the original crime.

I’m sure there are folks on here who are much better qualified to speak on the topic than me and I hope I’m approaching it in a sensitive and compassionate manner. Over to you…


#2

Realised the other day that Kevin Spacey features in several of my favourite films ever. Really not sure how I will feel next time I sit down to watch one of them


#3

I don’t really have a systematic way of thinking about this, just sort of trust my gut a bit. if I feel horrible I’ll stop engaging with something - there’s no good reason for me to still be listening to the fall or iggy pop really though. Dunno.


#4

I’ve always struggled with when it’s okay as well… As in some of my favourite books are by Andre Gide and Yukio Mishima. Are they ‘historical’ enough to be able to separate the artist from the art?


#5

@sheeldz mentioned something similar last week and I said he was responsible for one of my favourite theatre performances (probably top two, it was captivating). It’s horribly tainted now and it’s conflicting - I absolutely wouldn’t go and see that show were it re-run today, but I can’t pretend I didn’t see it in the past. Similarly, I probably won’t go and see anything released in the future he’s cast in, but I suspect I might watch an old film where he’s not playing lead on Netflix or TV; as Twinkletoes says, a film is bigger than any individual except perhaps the director, no?


#6

Fuck Swans and any apologists for them tbh


#7

…which might make watching The Usual Suspects in future doubly problematic…


#8

Did he direct? Oh no :frowning:


#9

Bryan Singer directed it, who is a noted Hollywood creep.


#10

Ah, was unaware of that - directors often pass me by, particularly for older films. Need to make myself more aware.


#11

Expecting his name to be ‘in the news’ soon…


#12

Here’s an article from three years ago but rumours have been circling around him for quite a while.


#13

Cheers for this - will have a nose. Appreciated.


#14

I don’t even know what separating the art from the artist is supposed to mean.


#15

Fuck them.
I’m not hardcore about it, but I’ll try to not support people who are terrible people.
There’s so much amazing stuff out there that I’ve barely scratched the surface of that I don’t feel I’m missing out by not engaging with the work of racists / misogynists / sex offenders etc etc.
I don’t have as much an issue with it once the offensive individual has died, I guess I think that you can like the work someone does but not like activities they do, but by liking the work you end up enabling the bad stuff they do.

What’s iggy pop done?


#16

think it’s a pretty big stretch to call harvey weinstein an artist in any sense. he got the films made in a very practical way and seems to have had an overbearing presence on the way they turned out, but to say that he is in any way creatively responsible for the films he worked on is extremely doubtful.


#17

It’s not really something I can do, although I’m sure there’s plenty of hyprocritical examples amongst my music and film collection. There’s been a fair chunk of CDs and MP3s thrown out or deleted in recent months.

I will give a special mention to James Brown though. Still pisses me off when Apollo comes up in ‘Best live album’ lists. The guy was a fucking torturer of women and should only be remembered as such.


#18

I think for me it just comes down to that gut feeling as mentioned upthread. I find it really hard to be black-and-white about this sort of thing - generally I won’t actively go out and support art that has been made by someone abusive or whatever, but equally I am not going to pretend I didn’t absolutely love Louis CK’s work before the suspicions came to light, or Swans before the Gira allegations, etc.


#19

Iggys biography is pretty much just a series of statutory assaults and horrible sexual practices - breaking into young girl’s rooms, getting them hooked on heroin.

I actually dunno what the age of consent would be there at that time, or if there was anything mentioned that wasn’t consensual, but it’s still grooming and was really rank to read.


#20

I used to sort of accidentally get around giving money to R Kelly (who I consider one of the best songwriters ever) by owning most of his albums on charity shop CDs. But I don’t think that was something I conciously did as a moral thing. Hopefully there will be some traction on out of court settlements and such stuff and he’ll go to prison. I don’t find it difficult, but I can 100% see why people would be unable to listen to his music when his subject matter is often so sexual and his crimes involve sexual assaults and rape.