- How can art draw attention to ethical issues in society?
- Asks what compassion can mean in the arts, and what role art can have in creating it and spreading it on a social and political level

Editors: Jeroen Boomgaard, Rini Hurkmans, Judith Westerveld
Contributors: Jesse Ahlers, Nick Aikens, Sarah van Binsbergen, Jeroen Boomgaard, Pascal Gielen, Rini Hurkmans, Susan Neiman, Leonhard de Paepe, Judith Westerveld
Design: Template
Series: Making Public

2017, Valiz with LAPS / Gerrit Rietveld Academie | paperback | 200 pp. | 22 x 17 cm (h x w) | English | ISBN 978-94-92095-29-9

Table of contents (pdf)
Introduction (pdf)
About the authors (pdf)


This book investigates what space an artwork can occupy in the public domain, how it can draw attention to ethical issues in society, and how it can spur individuals and groups into action. With its hybrid character it aims to be a case study for a distinct form of art analysis, one that not only brings in contributions from art historians, artists, curators and academics but also addresses the specific role of art: its autonomy, its place in societal and philosophical debate, and the part it plays in determining human values. It does so through an exploration of the conceptual artwork Flag of Compassion, initiated by artist Rini Hurkmans. Compassion: A Paradox in Art and Society asks what compassion can mean in the arts, and what role art can have in creating it and spreading it on a social and political level, moving from the theory and philosophy of compassion into an analysis of concrete artistic interventions.

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