We posed this and the other four key Great British Art Debate questions to our keen debate fiends over on facebook. Here are some of their thoughts:
We regularly fall back on the idea of art-as-therapy – the expectation that going to a gallery, seeing some pictures, participating in ‘culture’, is a good thing to do – morally good, almost therapeutically good. I don’t get this, never have – it’s not that there isn’t pleasure to be had in going to see an exhibition or visit a gallery, far from it, there’s plenty to enjoy. But the assumption that the experience is good for you, even health-giving, I think is wrong – even dangerous. It distracts us from what was really going on behind so many of the pictures which hang in our national galleries. In the context of British art, it takes us away from the much more challenging, intersting, exciting stories about British culture and history – the questions that really, really, matter…
– Martin Myrone, Tate Curator
Not to pull a Bill Clinton, but it probably depends on the meaning of “good”. I think the problem most people have with a lot of modern art is that it doesn’t seem to be saying anything at all, good or bad.
– EL, Facebook
Art must trigger emotions, creativity and reflection. These things learn us something about ourselves and the people around us, as well as society. So yes, art is good for you.
– KdV, Facebook
What do you think?