On March 6-8, 2014, the University of Bern will host an international conference entitled “Working with A Secular Age: Interdisciplinary Reflections on Charles Taylor’s Conception of the Secular.”
Posts Tagged ‘art’
On November 5, 2011, there will be a closing ceremony for the Sacred Spaces in Profane Buildings exhibition curated by Matilde Cassani, hosted by Storefront for Art and Architecture. The event will feature a panel discussion with Courtney Bender, Columbia University, Department of Religion; Maria Gonzales Pendas, GSAPP Columbia University; Patricia Bellucci, Fordham Center on Religion and Culture; along with representatives from religious communities and individuals who submitted to the project’s open call.
The Guardian has been hosting a series of posts on the question of whether faith is necessary in order to appreciate religious art. A post by Adrienne Dengerink Chaplin highlights the recent work of atheist artist David Mach to contest the assumption that religious art is necessarily made by believers
Catholic Culture reports that Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales of Manila has “called for prayers of reparation for a blasphemous art exhibit.” What art exhibit, you ask? “Kulo,” a controversial and recently-shut-down exhibition at the Cultural Center of the Philippines features, in particular, pieces by artist Mideo Cruz.
Brook Wilensky-Lanford shares her thoughts on the closing MoMa exhibit “Access to Tools: Publications from the Whole Earth Catalog, 1968-1974.”
The Immanent Frame, in cooperation with the award-winning religion magazine Killing the Buddha, is launching Frequencies, a project curated by Kathryn Lofton and John Lardas Modern seeking to commence a “collaborative genealogy of spirituality.” The curators have begun circulating a call for artworks to be included alongside a series of texts in prose and verse that will be published over the course of one-hundred days during the spring of 2011 on the project website. Artists working in visual media are asked to submit their work to the curators by March 15, 2011, who will pass it on to a panel for evaluation by March 30.
David Wojnarowicz’s “Fire in My Belly” is an expression not of hostility to the Christian faith but of a deep, and profoundly agonized, spirituality, argues S. Brent Plate, contra the Catholic League (and 0thers), who successfully lobbied last month to have the piece removed from the National Portrait Gallery’s “Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture” exhibit, ostensibly because of its depiction of Jesus’ crucified body encroached upon by ants. “In the midst of the hoopla,” says Plate, “is a deeply religious artwork made by an artist struggling with and through the embodied life of the spirit.”
Yesterday morning saw the removal of David Wojnarowicz’s 1987 video A Fire in My Belly from the National Portrait Gallery’s “Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture” exhibition. This video (which can be viewed here) was deemed controversial for an eleven second clip of ants crawling across a small crucifix.
Edward Rothstein, of The New York Times, reviews “Three Faiths: Judaism, Christianity, Islam,” a new exhibit at the New York Public Library.
Much ink, real and digital, has been spent on the closing of the Marina Abramović retrospective The Artist is Present. “But,” writes Alisa Solomon in a thoughtful piece at Killing the Buddha, “for all the ecstatic attention—and cranky critiques, too—trained on the art world’s equivalent of an audience with the pope, an important aspect of the performance has been overlooked: the deep aesthetic, communal, even spiritual (and sometimes contentious) experiences of hundreds of people who waited all day along the perimeter of the square performance space in vain hopes of taking a turn in the chair.”
This Thursday, Get Mad at Sin! opens at The Chocolate Factory in Long Island City. Conceived and performed by Andrew Dinwiddie and directed by Jeff Larson, Get Mad At Sin! is based on a 1971 record of evangelist Jimmy Swaggart recorded at the First Assembly of God in Van Buren, Arkansas. It is both historical document and portrait of Swaggart in his element before his televised rise to fame.
From April 12-17, Montreal will play host to two international symposia organized by Concordia University, the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), and the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. The first, organized by UQAM, will take place April12-15 and will gather numerous scholars and artists for a discussion of the theme of “sacrifiction.” Organized by the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, in collaboration with Concordia University, the second symposium is the Fourth International Max and Iris Stern Symposium, which will explore the relationship between contemporary art and religion and will be held April 15-17. On April 15, a joint session is planned.
Reviewing Kirk Savage’s Monument Wars: Washington D.C., the National Mall, and the Transformation of the Memorial Landscape for Religion Dispatches, Michael A. Elliot reflects on the profound changes undergone by the National Mall in the last two centuries.
The New York Times reports that the London Jewish Museum of Art has recently acquired a previously unknown Marc Chagall painting about the Holocaust.
The Oxford American, the “Southern magazine of good writing,” has released its 11th annual music issue, “True Soul & Other True Sounds.” The Jubilee Humming Birds are among the gospel acts profiled in this issue. Reflecting on the Birds’ recording of “Will the Lord Be with Me,” journalist Warwick Sabin writes: “The South may be the ultimate Old Testament playground, where everyone is in awe of a God who is capricious, unpredictable, generous, and cruel. Majestic and subtle physical beauty is everywhere, from the coastlines to the mountains to the Delta plains. Amid these gorgeous surroundings are poverty and deprivation, racial and religious conflict, and other manifestations of man’s sinful nature […].”
Religion and art seem to be in hot contention in the blogosphere of late . At Blogging Religiously, reporter Gary Stern discusses a controversial painting of the Hindu goddess Kali on display at a State University of New York museum. Also, in the Guardian’s Belief section, the editors are asking readers and columnists, “Does God have all the best art?“
By its very nature, mystery is much more difficult to speak about, and certainly to track. But religious ritual claims to offer mystery as well as sociality. It claims to make the transcendent immanent, and transcendence—whether vertical or horizontal, above or beyond—is the sphere of the sacred, of what is beyond our comprehension, control and use. We can point to it, sign it, and by doing so, evoke it. But that “beyond” is more than we can say, hear, touch, taste or even understand.
Without art, Victor Shklovsky writes in “Art as Technique,” “life is reckoned as nothing. Habitualization devours works, clothes, furniture, one’s wife, and the fear of war….And art exists that one may recover the sensation of life.” In this spirit of freedom from anaesthetizing habit we can, and urgently should, take up the torn threads that tie humanism up with civic education. We humanists can join artists as cultural agents who promote creativity and interpretation as resources for social development. The objective is not a partisan victory but the formation of “thick” civic subjects who are alive to the world and exercise the free judgment that we learn, as Kant taught us, through developing a disinterested enjoyment of beauty. Democracy depends on sturdy and resourceful citizens able to engage more than one point of view and to wrest rights and resources from limited assets. In other words, non-authoritarian government counts on creativity to loosen conventional thought and free up the space where conflicts are negotiated, before they reach a brink of either despair or aggression.
Francis Ford Coppola’s rendition of Mircea Eliade’s novel Youth Without Youth opens with a montage of clocks woozily bending. These fluctuating clocks, reminiscent of the iconic melting timepieces in Salvador Dalí’s famous painting “The Persistence of Memory,” appropriately open a movie that, as Coppola has said, seeks to explore “Time and Interior Consciousness.” While I found Coppola’s movie to be intermittently ponderous, melodramatic (without the saving grace of campiness), and mired in “mystery” while lacking in suspense, it nonetheless highlights some possibilities and problems associated with Eliade’s understanding of time, which he calls “the supreme ambiguity of the human condition.”