The theory is likely to support the teaching that art softens proprieties. In principle, art represents civilization, beauty, serenity and benevolence. Moreover, in principle, nothing is more soothing than frequenting masterpieces of art.
Furthermore, societies that reject art are particularly violent: they tend to be fanatical regimes that destroy works of art because they deem it to be degenerate or because they believe these art works represent other gods than theirs.
Finally, we can show that art is a substitute for violence: It allows us to say what speech cannot express. Art plays on violence, thus becoming an expressive form of the act. In fact, violence is everywhere, in all of the arts: in literature, of course, which feasts on it. In cinema, which does worse. In music, which accompanies warriors in combat. And even in what is called the fine arts: In Greek sculpture, with Michel Ange and Uccello, with Caravaggio and Goya, with Picasso and Bacon. Even with these so-called contemporary artists who are fired upon, for the “experience”. 1/
When we take a closer look, it all comes together: if art softens proprieties, it is because it channels the chaos by giving meaning to it, as the sacrifice of the scapegoat is expressive of general violence in the oldest societies. It consolidates, regroups, encloses evil in its artistic simulacrum.
And art clearly tells us, including in all the aforementioned examples: the way of presenting violence is always, or almost, in one way or another, in the form of a sacrifice that an artist puts forward in order to avoid having to replicate that violence.
As such, art is conjuring a simulacrum of sacrificial violence held at a distance.
Today, in any case, channelling this violence no longer seems to be sufficient in certain places and in certain circles. Though, according to the statistics, there is less violence today than at any other period in history, it is clearly more and more unleashed by those who do not expect anything from a world where they do not find their place and which, in one way or another, gives them access to weapons. Hence, they organize, quite naturally, their suicides by dragging others with them.
So, should we seek answers to these follies only through crackdowns? Should we give up on seeing art play a role in controlling this evil?
In my opinion, and even if it makes me look like an incorrigible optimist, I am on the contrary convinced that part of the answer to violence lies in the practice of art; whether it be on American campuses, terrorism in Europe and elsewhere. It is by returning to the first function of art, as a simulacrum of sacrifice, that we will succeed in bringing despair under control.
In short, I will say that we will be able to fight more efficiently against these barbaric acts with libraries that are opened seven days a week until midnight, conservatories in all neighbourhoods, painting classes everywhere, social leaders to guide young people who are in essence furthest away from this universe.
To make them become conscious of the fact that they can become themselves by creating and learning, as well as finding themselves in multiform arts, which are nourished by all traditions, all cultures, all instruments, all practices and all confessions.

1/ » Not for the faint-hearted: Violence to/of Contemporary Art. About Marc Quinn, Gillian Wearing, Chapman Brothers, Damien Hirst & Co “by Catherine Bernard, in the review “Sillages critiques”, 2017