Do Justice On Art – Reflections While On Jury Duty (February 2016)

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Free Will. Do Justice On Art

I once had an art appreciator and colleague ask me something out of the ordinary along the lines of: “Are you worried or have you ever thought what someone might do to your art after they purchase it, such as the act of damaging it?”

Of course, the quick answer was no, normally someone’s intrigue in an art piece, enough to buy it, would probably want to preserve it too. Although, anyone could indeed have the freedom to do anything they want with the art they purchased. Somehow my colleague’s question crept back into my mind years later while I was on jury duty. I had the chance to think more about it and have arrived at the following viewpoints below. How we do justice on art depends first from defining what is art.

Pondering Art in the Courtroom

Image of our home Earth - Do Justice On Art composition by Jenny SW Lee
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons User NikoLang
  • Earth is a unique creation that allows for the proliferation of other complex entities; however, people carelessly destroy it without having the foresight and understanding of the impact of their actions. If they don’t fully see and recognize the beauty of the art and creation, then they probably do not appreciate its worth.
  • Perhaps some people do not have the same goal in mind as others who do wish to protect something that is meaningful to them.
  • Perhaps some people are self destructive or have lost meaning and passion and therefore do not care about the destruction of things. This goes back to self-love, i.e. the love of the creation of oneself. Hurting something else other than oneself could be a form of punishment and relief—a healing process.
  • An artwork can also be an open canvas for new opportunities and a guide to new inspirations. Art can morph and evolve. The act of “destroying” it can be the catalyst for change.
  • Art itself can evolve without even touching it as the environment changes. People’s perspectives can change over time and the art can then become the teacher or the tool.
  • The risk of letting an art piece go and be released publicly in the world, is similar to letting children make their own unique, independent decisions separate from their family. An art piece’s own uniqueness will drive the course of its life and influence others and the world. If that uniqueness is not realized by the creator and it’s unable to express freely, we lost a great opportunity.
  • The art was released into the world to exist in a random and opportunistic environment. The creative process of molding an art piece and the degradation of it, whether provoked or not, is a natural course of existence. Since it’s possible that a creation could be destroyed and possibility yields growth, then there is the increased potential for new insights and greater creations.

How do you view works of art and how do you treat them?

Follow Jenny S.W. Lee:

Boston and Vancouver based artist and photographer exhibiting internationally.

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