Measure your Morals

September 18, 2008

By Mike Landry
A more opulent shade of McQuitty's aesthetometer.

A more opulent shade of Jane McQuitty's aesthetometer.

Calgary artist Jane McQuitty used to think modern taste was natural. It seemed to her we were hardwired to enjoy things that are restrained and true to material.

After some reading she was shocked to discover just how culturally loaded out taste is. During the Victorian era, one’s taste became irrevocably linked to one’s moral standing. Good morals led to good taste, which would become the hallmark restraint of modern aesthetics. McQuitty’s just not to sure if she’s buying it anymore.

“That’s a cultural artifact, and I think we live in a cosmopolitan society now. I’m interested in sampling Calgarians and seeing where they fall on this,” says McQuitty. “Do they like the more elaborate and sensual work, or do they like the sort of minimalist daylight lit version. I would just like them to articulate that a bit for me.”


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