Sample Essay on:
Critique of Georges Bataille’s 1949 Essay ‘The Cruel Practice of Art’

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Essay / Research Paper Abstract

In three pages this paper examines this essay within the context of the relationship that exists between art, sacrifice, religion, and emotion. Once source is cited in the bibliography.

Page Count:

3 pages (~225 words per page)

File: TG15_TGgbcruel.rtf

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Unformatted sample text from the term paper:

his most famous writings is the 1949 essay The Cruel Practice of Art, in which he contemplated arts purpose and its role in society. The avant-garde art community enthusiastically embraced Batailles expressed sentiments. But mainstream society reviled this work because the author hypothesized that a relationship exists between art, sacrifice, religion, and emotion. According to Bataille, art seemed to free itself for being an historical byproduct of religion (as in paintings featuring religious subjects and church murals), but because it continues to delight in shocking and horrifying viewers, art "remains open to the representation of that which repulses" (2). Religious sacrifice may be a practice of the past, but it is very much alive and well in various works of art. Bataille likens how it continues to linger on "like a trace on a streaky window" that is still powerful enough to evoke strong emotional reactions (3). With the example of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ, Bataille argues that while this image has elevated the concept of one man dying for the sins of humankind, its continued reproduction enables art to indulge in what he describes as an act of cruelty. According to Bataille, who was well known for his atheist views, constantly reproducing Christs crucifixion glorifies suffering, and reinforces the notion that religion is important to ease the hardships that are an integral part of the modern life experience. The connection between art, sacrifice, religion, and emotion ensnares individuals "in the trap of life" as detailed by Bataille (3). This four-way relationship is one of cause and effect in that it generates sheer pleasure from the artistry, which can be for many akin to a religious experience ...

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