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1. Does "the abject bodies of the criminal" mean "the flesh of criminals that is rejected and sent into prison by the society" or "the artworks of criminals"?


2. Does "this excess is culturally sanctioned" imply "philosophers' unlawful comments are allowed by culture"?


3. Does "excess" here mean"unlawful acts"?


4. Does "yet which retain a fascinating hold upon the population" mean "although we send criminals to the prison, they still can have influences on the society with for example their artworks created in the prison"?


5. Does "Why do we sanction the unlawful when it is presented within the frame of art" refer to the philosophers comments about crimes or the artworks created by criminals? I think the former. What's your idea?


6. What does "but Kelley shows the abject failure in the premises of this ideal" mean? Does it mean "but Kelley shows that the idea of art changing criminals to good people is wrong"?


Context:

Mike Kelley's work has also examined the abject bodies of the criminal. Pay for your Pleasure, 1988, is a corridor of posters of philosophers and writers who allude to transgression and violence in their philosophy, mostly in overblown tones of grandiosity and outrageous statements. However, this excess is culturally sanctioned. Unsanctioned excess occurs in the actual acts of criminals. At the end of the corridor, a painting of a clown done by the serial killer John Wayne Gacy confronts us with the unlawful excesses which we cast out of society into prisons yet which retain a fascinating hold upon the population. Why do we sanction the unlawful when it is presented within the frame of art? Art therapy is deemed to be good for criminals, a way of socialising them into the distinctions between good and evil, but Kelley shows the abject failure in the premises of this ideal. No art activity ever stopped a murderer and no wholesome images ever created a humanity freed from evil, yet we need to believe in the altruistic potential of art (Art and Psychoanalysis by Maria Walsh).

Comments  
catttt1. Does "the abject bodies of the criminal" mean "the flesh of criminals that is rejected and sent into prison by the society" or "the artworks of criminals"?

I don't know. This writer seems to have filed the serial numbers off the word "abject" and taken it for her own. God only knows what she means by it. It might be a term of art from criticism or psychoanalysis.

catttt2. Does "this excess is culturally sanctioned" imply "philosophers' unlawful comments are allowed by culture"?

Something like that. Their comments are not unlawful, only unjustified.

catttt3. Does "excess" here mean"unlawful acts"?

In the case of the criminals, yes, but she is contrasting "sanctioned" excess, that which is accepted by society, with "unsactioned" excess, crime.

catttt4. Does "yet which retain a fascinating hold upon the population" mean "although we send criminals to the prison, they still can have influences on the society with for example their artworks created in the prison"?

Not yet. She simply means that people are interestd in crime and criminals.

catttt5. Does "Why do we sanction the unlawful when it is presented within the frame of art" refer to the philosophers comments about crimes or the artworks created by criminals? I think the former. What's your idea?

The philosophers' comments are not unlawful. She is referring to Gacy's clown, movies about fun-loving criminals, etc.

catttt6. What does "but Kelley shows the abject failure in the premises of this ideal" mean? Does it mean "but Kelley shows that the idea of art changing criminals to good people is wrong"?

Something like that, but more that the premise is wrong, not the process. Gacy did not paint as part of any sort of administered therapy.