memory. language, art. wittgenstein. books. ceramics.

all sorts of thinkings on memory, language, art, wittgenstein, books, etc, while I am getting on with my MA

Friday 8 April 2011

The shambles of art and religion at ICA

Art and Religion

6 April 2011
£12 / £11 concessions / £10 ICA Members
Art historian James Elkins states that contemporary art is deeply suspicious of faith yet welcoming of spirituality and the sublime. After centuries of a close and symbiotic relationship between art and religion what has happened in recent times to so change the way artists’ work might deal with religion? Why does it seem more controversial for a contemporary artist to explore their faith rather than critique religion? Art used to be commissioned largely for religious places but what kinds of artists are approached now? Work inspired by the faith of the artist is often found in outsider art, how is this accepted and understood in the context of contemporary art more widely?
In the lead up to Easter weekend we look at the relationship between religion and contemporary art in an evening of discussion featuring Mark Dean, artist and Church of England curate, Fabienne Audeoud artist and writer, James Brett founder of the Museum of Everything and chaired by Brian Dillon UK editor of Cabinet magazine and a research fellow at the University of Kent.
James Brett (of The Museum of Everything) - in effect - saved the event. He was so well prepared, funny, knowledgeable and - of course - professional. His slideshow and talk about religion in outsider art were illuminating.  Mark Dean did have things to say too, but he spent too much time trying to justify his own belief in God. (why?) Oh - and Fabienne Audeoud simply did not have a good day. She was so preoccupied with her own experience and her own understanding of religion, that she did not really have time to put art into equation too.

African art does not exist.
Religion is only what the words in the bible say.
What is spirituality? (with 10 mins remaining to the end of the talk)