Thursday, 17 August 2017

Bonus Quote of the Day: On monuments, and their purpose

“Monuments are not historical lessons. They portray something that is to be admired and appreciated—that is the purpose of art."
-~ Keith O'Neil

[Hat tip Stuart Hayashi]



  1. I disagree with the author on the purpose of art. I think there's a place for dissonance--pain, anger, and sorrow are just as much part of the human experience as pleasure and joy. And I think there's a place in art for "This is how bad things can get"--the tunnel disaster in Atlas Shrugged, or the book "Night", for example. A monument like the Korean War Memorial serves that purpose (whether you think it should is a different issue).

  2. I agree that is the primary purpose of art, but not all monuments are art with that purpose. Take for instance a monument to the Chch earthquake, or the sinking of the Arizona in Pearl Harbour, or 9/11. There's nothing to be admired or appreciated in those events - but it's a form of respect for those who died, and in some cases a reminder not to forget the lessons learnt from those events.


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