July 18, 2008

Art imitates religion

Thinking about art and religion, I came up to four elements which art might have taken from religion, or that at least are incredibly close:

* The ready made is similar to the saint's relic. The saint touched this glass, or sat on this chair, or wore this dress, and then it belongs to another ontological level. This is more or less Duchamp's principle of the ready made: the artist's touch gives to the ordinary object another dimension, and then it doesn't belong anymore to the common world, but to the art's.

* Religious people believe in divine predilection, and feel somehow as chosen by God. In a similar way, artists feel as unique, touched by some Muse.

* The shrine or church is a sacred space filled with veneration and silence. Now, museums have replaced churches, and people visit more often the museums than the churches (some even visit churches not to pray, but to admire the building and the paintings with the same veneration and silence of the pilgrims. Think of St. Peter's basilica, for instance).

* Christian ascetism has invented the examination of the own conscience. With an analogous strategy, (occidental) art has created critic.

There are many other things to talk about. Let's leave them for another day.


Roberto said...

Me recordó al Bebé de Macón de Peter Greenaway.

Guillermo Núñez said...

Sobre el primero: el ready made funciona igualmente a la inversa, con el objetivo de arrebatar el arte a las instituciones como los museos y mostrar que cualquier cosa puede ser arte, independientemente de su contexto. Sobre el tercero: nos contaba María Herrera en clase sobre los turistas que se persignan cuando entran al Louvre. Saludos.