Outrageous: Defending the Art of Free Expression

Brad Evans, Julian Reid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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This essay makes a critical defence of free expression through the spirit of outrageousness. Drawing upon the ideas of Oscar Wilde, along with artists such as Frida Kahlo, Francis Bacon, Gilbert and George and Jake and Dinos Chapman, it looks beyond the current attempts to reduce the question of freedom to quintessential liberal tropes. In doing so, the paper both offers a critique of the moral absolutism that’s taken over certain sectors of the so-called ‘radical left’, while demanding more political appreciation for creatives and those with the abilities to reimagine the human subject. Such a critique not only suggests the need to rethink the meaning for freedom beyond the play of libertarians, but it also calls forth a new political subjectivity who appears timely and yet timeless – the much maligned and theoretically ignored figure of the infidel, who allows us to break free from moral entrapments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages18
JournalNew Perspectives
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2021
MoEC publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Art
  • freedom of expression
  • politics
  • Outrageous
  • Jake and Dinos Chapman
  • Frida Kahlo
  • Francis Bacon
  • Infidel
  • Alexander McQueen
  • Oscar Wilde

Field of science

  • International political science


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