December 4, 2009
It’s time we come to terms with the art religion. Or, if this language construct doesn’t suit your fancy, we can simply rethink it as “It’s time we come to terms with the art cult.” Or, if you think we’ve already done this, and/or the idea makes you uncomfortable, we can just continue to think that art is just representation and there’s nothing more deeply involved in understanding its correlations with other human activity’s emotional/behavioral/ritualistic constructs and/or beliefs.
First, let’s take a moment to note that this article was prompted by the fortuitous occurrence of coming across the article by Alain de Botton [below] and the performative-process-explication [of sorts] by Jonathan Meese [also below], within the same five minutes of researching the internet. Could this be mere chance? You be the judge by reviewing the following, afformentioned evidence.
“Come all ye faithless,” by Alain de Botton, Philosopher and broadcaster, found in: What’s Next essays in Monocle magazine.
My guess is that humanity is slowly rediscovering what it lost when the developed world (the US-aside) went secular in the 20th century. It seems evident that what we now need is not a choice between atheism and religion – but a new secular religion: a religion for atheists. What would such a peculiar idea involve? For a start, lots of new buildings akin to churches, temples and cathedrals. Imagine a network of secular churches, vast high spaces in which to escape from the hubbub of modern society and in which to focus on all that is beyond us. It isn’t surprising that secular people continue to be interested in cathedrals. These great works of ecclesiastical architecture perform the very clever and eternally useful function of relativising those who walk inside them. We feel small inside a cathedral and recognise the debt that sanity owes to such a feeling.
In addition, a secular religion would use all the tools of art in order to create an effective kind of propaganda in the name of kindness and virtue. Rather than seeing art as a tool to shock and surprise (the two great emotions promoted by most contemporary works), a secular religion would return to an earlier view that art should improve us. It should be a form of propaganda for a better, nobler life.
The hilariously beautiful, poetic and at times, prophetic, performance of Jonathan Meese explaining his conception and use of art. [Video Embedded Below. Link here.]
[note: I believe]
Because of their nature [in believing], ideologies can assimilate and replicate almost any form and/or behavioral performance of another ideology in order to convert its user. This phenomenon is charmingly also partly responsible for the other behemoth of an ideological human mode of exchange: the economy. And now, what’s happening to the economy, again?