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What about power?

September 20, 2017

The sculpture becomes powerful in its ability to reach beyond the discourse of the art object to refocus the attention of the audience onto itself. Sculpture in public spaces has the power to point at us and show us the world we live in. Calling attention to higher goals, it reproaches us for our inattention and encourages us to see more clearly what might already exist in the city around us. 

 

The 'power of power' in both cases can distort the effort to assess its effects. In moral terms, the highest social esteem should be accorded to acts of duty and responsibility; instead, it is awarded to acts of magnificence. Success is defined by the value attributed to an act or work rather than its intrinsic substance. In the art world, a well-known work by a famous artist gains power from its social approval, regardless of whether or not it succeeds on critical grounds. Power can sometimes deceive us into accepting the superficial. 

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