Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
This thesis is an examination of justifications for freedom of offensive, permanent, unavoidable artistic expression situated in a public place. I argue that sufficiently offensive public site specific artworks become profoundly offensive, and that insofar as they are profoundly offensive public site-specific artworks may justifiably be censored within the context of liberal democratic society. I show that a distinction between the aesthetic value of the content of an artwork and the offense given by that artwork allows us to recognize that artworks are contextually offensive independent of their aesthetic value. Given that the offensiveness of an artwork may be considered apart from its aesthetic value, I argue that sufficiently offensive public site-specific art is justifiably censored insofar as it is (1) an immediate harm to the privacy autonomy of individuals forced to interact with it, and (2) mediately offends symbols of shared values, and (3) an elitist dictation of taste which is out of keeping with the values of a democratic society.
Culver, Keith Charles, "Ethical Issues Surrounding the Censorship of Public Site Art" (1992). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 6120.
McMaster University Library