Back to Quercia Stories

An Interlude of Conscience, Morals and Ethics

      A work of art organizes and articulates understanding of experience. Do ethics attach themselves to the work of art or to the experience from which the articulation comes?
      If sex with another is used as the research for art in order to illuminate the questions of life, where does morality belong - to the sexual experience or the artwork?
      The writer or artist who feeds life experience into the creation of the artwork uses this experience as a “standing reserve.” When the standing reserve consists of the intimate conjoining of the artist with a sexual partner, then moral and ethical questions arise.
      When the tents of the day have been folded and I am stealing away home, ordering creeps in. The events of the day are placed in my hands to be turned, as the divine creator whose position I assume, into art. My raw material is my engagement in society and, being engaged, I am a part of the raw material. Just as my ordering of this standing reserve is destined by me, I, as a part of it, am destined and thus lost to it. From the freedom of non-existence, as I bring the work of art into existence, it enters the realm where it is now free for the taking - a “free for all.” I can be judged through this work of art.
      My calling is to create art. I live to experience, with this end in mind. I anticipate the experience I am living as part of the standing reserve and am myself a part of that future picture. The creation of the work also becomes part of a standing reserve for the next wave in the future. Where is the ethical responsibility in this cycle?
       The art object, in this instance, is this book, which is also placed in a visual context as cursive writing on drawings. The truth of the artwork could justify the sacrifice of the intimacy, of the other, of me and of my reputation. At this point the public looks at the work and reads it. It can be digested and contribute to their standing reserve.
Does this reveal anything or just add to confusion?
       Sex and morality can also be submitted to this ordering. The development of a moral code is founded on precedents. Sexual intimacy, when totally private and enacted with no record taken, doesn't enter the standing reserve. Sexual intimacy used as a resource for knowledge, as it is ordered, documented and processed - destines. To communicate outwards, to make public the two way communication of sex, changes the status of the sex act from object to standing reserve. Conversely, to remain moral to the act itself within our present guidelines, our destiny is to remain silent, private, and intimate.

Julie Oakes,  Author, Quercia Stories
Excerpts from “An Interlude of Conscience, Morals and Ethics”