Pornography and art.
On some page here there was again the discussion. Here are my 2 million Dollars on that:
Some people are obsessed by nudity. For whatever reasons.
They do depict it in a "good" or "bad" way. For whatever creativity.
I prefer to see the honest and bad depiction of an obsessed person to seeing the streamlined outer face - which shows sex in a safe and digestable version. Given, of course, that nobody was harmed mentally or physically. The photos shown here are excellent but boring - this is not art. Art is, when you go to your limits, art has to heal, and art has to provoke.
Sex is a mystery, and art can go hand in hand with this mystery. But not by making it a child-safe version like Barbie and Playboy.
On the other hand, pornography can have negative effects: Changing your view upon women, men, and the holy act of sex. In addition, making you think everything comes for free or really cheap. What I really hate is people - men - showing off by bringing women in a degrading situation - normally by using what everybody thinks to be the center of life: money.
It is funny, that on this site you always have the discussion about art when it comes to sex. You don't have this discussion, when it comes to cheap childish left-handed drawings of my cat. Sex and our body are a very important part of our life, so why do you get upset when it is shown explicitly? Because it dis-enchants the holy act of sex? Maybe this is true, but in order to find out more, we have to accept a true discussion which includes cheap pornographic pictures.
Therefore I am completely against censorship, although I have to admit that censorship contributed to creating great art, making art creative in finding ways to circumvent censorship, like your Zen master gives you a Koan.
Pornography influences society: In Denmark the number of rapes went down statistically significant after pornography was legalized in the seventies. On the other hand, pornography made breast implants attractive to millions of women.
I think pornography is one of the ways to discuss a very important part of our lifes.
Pornography is not art, like cleaning the kitchen is not an act of love. But pornography can be art, like cleaning the kitchen can be an act of love. Given that this site is dedicated to art, and that it is super-hard to find out, what is art or what is a piece of art, I would recommend the surrealist approach: In the twenties, Andre Breton told people to send their real-life descriptions to the Surrealist Bureau in Paris. Encounters in the tramway. Digestion on the toilet. Left-handed drawings of my cat. Sex. Everything is part of our life, and we should see everything with open eyes.
Life is art. And art has to be alive.