A banana duct taped to a wall exhibited at a prestigious art fair with a price tag of $120 000, made headlines. A self-shredding artwork by Banksy at a Sotheby's auction, a urinal entered into an exhibition and accepted as sculpture, soiled diapers exhibited at a New York gallery by an artist-mother, and countless other "outrageous artworks" surface repeatedly, not only in modern era but throughout history around the world. Is it just an impulse to shock, or is it art? Who decides? Why is it so prevalent? This comparative discussion, with examples of old and new art, memorable and often entertaining, aims to explore the element of shock and different layers of meaning in art.
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