Study Group – Jimmy Carr Destroys Art

This week we watched Channel 4’s show Jimmy Carr Destroys Art. I loved it! The premise: they take two piece of art both by ‘problematic’ people, they get two people to defend each piece (or explain why the other shouldn’t be defended), then the audience votes for the one to be destroyed. Literally destroyed.

It is a take on the idea of ‘cancel culture’ and asks ‘can we separate the art from the artist?’ I think we can and we should… but clearly not everyone thinks that at all. One thing I kept thinking of while watching it was Prof Bruce Hood’s work on the supernatural…

The idea that people can imbue a work of art with the ‘essence’ of the artist (and only a bad/negative essence at that) and believe that there is genuine ‘evil’ that exists in the work so that it must be destroyed is just magical thinking. I’m not a fan of magical thinking in any of its forms!

Anyway, we had a BRILLIANT discussion about the show and we all agreed that destroying art – anyone’s art – is a travesty.