CANCEL CULTURE & ART

SOCIALITY HAS A CONNECTION TO THE SUCCESS OF AN ARTIST


By jasmine Chan: Arts Columnist


If you have not heard of it, online there has been beauty youtubers being cancelled due to their past transgressions. But how does this affect art? Does art even get affected by such things?

Being cancelled in the way we speak of it here, is when someone or an idea is rejected. This is generally due to the current circumstance such as due to a movement or current mindset, that when people do a google search of a person and find something unsavoury that said person has done in the past. Other names that this goes by is online shaming, and public humiliation.

This begins to affect art as the creator is suddenly put into the spotlight. What once would have been justified, is now looked upon unfavourably. An example of this is Damien Hurst. Famous for his work that features a shark in a tank filled with formaldehyde. In recent years, he has been struggling to get work due to the way he would get a hold of these things. With current times putting an emphasis on the way an animal is treated. Hurst’s methods were questioned and looked in an unfavourable manner. Resulting him in having a harder time in finding a gallery willing to exhibit his work.

Nonetheless, this has also meant that the audience is no longer passive. The public has begun to start holding artists, companies, and organisations accountable. This will hopefully mean that the way things are done will become more ethical. But just how far can you hold someone accountable without forcing them to eventually become unauthentic?

For creatives, the question will be if they wish to keep their public persona separate from their personal image or if both are intermingled. Art is a subjective area; therefore, it would make it difficult for creatives to remove themselves from their artwork. At the same time, should they decide to tackle a controversial topic, they will need to be ready for criticism along with potential backlash that could cost their career.

The Online world often has a stronger message than the art itself. Image Lucas Bieri

However, online shaming can also turn very quickly into bullying. What once started as a noble intention, can quickly turn someone into a victim that is blacklisted forever on the internet. Unlike in the previous century when celebrities, and businesses could brush off issues. These would be quickly forgotten; the internet instead archives it. Therefore, this makes it extremely difficult to remove a negative issue or brush it aside. At some point, someone will search for information about someone or a company and eventually learn about these issues. The internet makes it easy to hide behind a screen. Allowing people to criticise with no repercussions. In the end, this takes a toll on the person mentally who is being directed by the criticisms. The person’s relationships take damage as well.

Overall, cancel culture does have its place in shaping the future of art. But whether this means that it is for a better future is still debatable. It would depend on how or if the internet will need to be monitored closely. Alternatively, if artists and companies choose more wisely about their public image and actions.

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