“We all know that Art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth, at least the truth that is given to us to understand.” – Pablo Picasso
It is deplorable that Mike Daisey positioned his artistic interpretation as the truth. He pulled information from many sources and pretended it was a firsthand account. He meshed together and dramatized all the components of his alleged experience. Worst of all, he lied to the producers of This American Life and the rest of the world.
Daisey did not uphold the journalistic standard that was required and in turn he mislead the listeners. This is unethical no matter what his intentions were. I understand that he wanted to raise awareness about a situation he believes in unfair but by doing so through deception he invalidated all of this claims.
The Pablo Picasso quote above helped me to understand the interplay between art and truth. While it is entirely ethical for artists to use their creative works to comment on the world surrounding them and to convey truths, it must be fairly deemed art. Art is up to interpretation. Art is subjective. Art is a way to make sense of complicated things. Journalism, while it can be “artistic” in its style, is not art. Journalism is bound to a strict standard that must be upheld to maintain the expected quality of information that will shape the public opinion. Daisey violated this standard when he positioned his art as journalism.
Guernica, 1937, Picasso