In Defense of Poor Taste, Part Two

Dartmouth Professor Mary Coffey has joined Provost Scherr in defending Wenda Gu’s late installation in Baker Library:

What does it mean that the critique of Wenda Gu’s work rests upon a series of Romantic myths about art and the artist: that art transcends the market, that the artist is a moral visionary who eschews materialist concerns, and that the artist determines the meaning of his or her work? This Romantic appeal, while noble in its idealism, also suggests an unreflexive innocence that not only obfuscates ethical political action, but also sustains the very forms of exploitation it seeks to unmask. In what follows I interrogate our Romantic attachment to art’s transcendence and ask what interests does it serve?

Read on.