Review: Is Art Civilised?

Review of art talk ‘Is Art Civilised’, by Guardian critic Jonathan Jones.

The Oxford Culture Review

The role that art and culture play in society seems a particularly pertinent question at present. Last fortnight, Minister for Schools Nick Gibb announced that the EBacc is set to become compulsory in secondary schools, a qualification that includes English, Maths, Sciences, History or Geography, and a Language. The performing arts are conspicuously absent, not being ‘sufficiently important to justify reducing the time available for the existing subjects in the curriculum’, according to Gibb.

This is quite a different perspective to the one offered yesterday evening by Guardian art critic Jonathan Jones. Speaking at the MCS Arts Festival, he argued that the creation of art — and the study of it — is a prerequisite for a civilised society. In a talk that spanned artworks from the Renaissance to the 2008 Fucking Hell by Jake and Dinos Chapman, he concluded that you ‘can’t have art that…

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