“We expect art to be shocking, extreme.” say Dunne and Raby.
I think it might be the other way around sometimes though, art tries to be just art, and we somehow decide to take it personally. Maybe because it’s one of the last uncommercialisable and don’t-have-to-be-politically-friendly forms of expression. Maybe because you can’t call the cops because you’re being personally offended by what’s being displayed.
Or can you?
For example, if you try to exhibit a chocolate Jesus at Easter, well your show might be canceled.
Or if you’re not of the same ethnic background as the person you’re sculpting you might have people protesting to the government.
I’ve written a lot about design and education in my interviews lately and I feel that the same education also applies to art. To understand art and it’s value, it’s value as a commentary, a personal vision, a stance is something that is taught. To understand the value of the design methodologies to better a business, see the potential in an idea, think out of the box about a certain problem, needs education as well. But what does it take in North America to achieve that when european dry design is met with suspicion.
Being a young country, maybe North America hasn’t been exposed as much as Europe has to a history of art. Growing up in Paris, I was taught art history at age 7 and knew my Gauguin from my Seurat. I doubt you could say the same from most young kids now.
In the UK, a few years ago the Design Council was involved in an endeavor to push design classes to take place in primary schools. I hope that comes back as a part of the national curriculum, as Denmark did with user-centered design.
The earlier you learn about the value, place and potential of art and design in the world, the less likely you are to grow up to be the kind of adult who calls up your local council with a petition because someone’s exhibiting an egg-shaped baby.