Does art still have the ability to shock us?

There’s an interesting multi-part discussion going on in the New York Times about whether art (visual, performance, theater, film, writing, music) can still shock us.   Articles revisit some historic events such as the premiere of Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring” and the public funding battles in the 1990s over controversial art (such as Robert Mapplethorpe’s photographs ca 1989).

The articles have kick started a flood of comments, which include  first person remembrances of  performances and events that shocked, or failed to shock, and musings on reality TV’s shock value.  Readers are also given the opportunity to vote on what the most shocking moments in art and performance history have been (from a pretty small sampling).

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