The freedom of artistic expression should have extended to it the same degree of legal freedom granted to all other forms of speech; to forgo complete freedom of artistic expression would result in the suppression of human creativity as well as the suppression of the other types of speech for the artistic tradition closely identifies with all of the other forms of free speech.The eminent Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei works at the pinnacle of the freedom of art in our day, working proactively, provocatively, and politically.
In another sphere, Miley Cyrus employs the idea of freedom of expression to its threshold, making statements ardently condemned by individuals who have different tastes and perhaps moral values.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau offers a counter idea to complete artistic freedom to be refuted by ideas and developments of modern artists.
Perhaps a proof of the saying comes in the, what some would classify as disturbing, form of the music, persona, and performance of the American pop star Miley Cyrus.
Whether or not one considers the productions of Cyrus art is contentious in itself; for the purposes of this paper and according to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, art may be defined as an entity “intentionally endowed by their makers with a significant degree of aesthetic interest, often surpassing that of most everyday objects” (Stanford). Those who condemn the girl who carries “the torch of sexually provocative pop stars,” ultimately call for the condemnation, suppression, and censorship of art (Feeny).
Should artistic expression receive the same degree of legal protection as other types of speech, such as political, religious, commercial, or educational speech? In the modern day and throughout recent history, the question of the distribution of liberty among the forms of speech and expression has driven contention, debate, and friction among the factions desiring complete artistic freedom, and those desiring to limit it.
In the realm of the world, the complete freedom of speech, be it political, religious, or artistic, is a cultural anomaly; many societies find themselves mired in abstractions of censorship preventing free artistic expression at the expense of cultural development.
The controversial Chinese artist Ai Weiwei represents one individual in the fight for free artistic expression in the world today.
He intentionally provokes the Chinese government as well as the Chinese populace in order to make a statement demonstrating the suppression occurring as a result of Chinese government policies.
Modern China presents an astoundingly important example in the study of the freedom of artistic expression in the world today due to several factors: its recent history of suppression and its current titular censorship intermingled with cases of real censorship constitute a poisonous environment for art.
Ai Weiwei has been described as “the most powerful artist in the world,” in what some predict will “become the most powerful nation in the world” (Stevens). Some of his more famous pieces such as Sunflower Seeds at the Tate Modern in London, present the idea of China critically, in response to its sheer population and the magnitude of every entity associated with the nation.