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Higgins
04-02-2009, 08:43 PM
Does art change people in a religious way?

Here's a story with a twist:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/7979469.stm

BrittaMoline
04-04-2009, 10:21 AM
Art is very much its own religion. I know one of the most important moments of my life over the past few years was the discovery of Tristan Tzara's 1918 Dada Manifesto. Artistic philosophy can often be extrapolated and applied to philosophy, period. I find it often easiest to understand philosophy that way, such as Jacques Derrida, whom I did not understand at all until I applied his theories to a modern artist.

Art is an intensely mental and spiritual experience. One work can stick with you and linger in your mind for days and years. Very interesting article!

Ruv Draba
04-07-2009, 03:12 AM
Reflection changes people. Art helps change their perceptions; Science helps change their understanding of cause and consequence. Our shifting change in perceptions, causes and consequences can certainly change us spiritually -- by spirit here I mean 'who we think we are, how we want to relate to one another and how we want to achieve meaning in our lives'.

Art has some impact on the 'dogma' part of religion too; the embellishment of a religious myth can become the de facto standard for that myth, as we can see in Michelangelo's La Creazione. (Iconically, the ancient and patriarchal God has a full but not ginormous beard while Adam, who never owned a razor, doesn't. Despite the myth being Middle Eastern, God and Adam both look convincingly European.) So Art can change how we think spiritually regardless of religion, and also how we approach religious dogma. But so too can Science.
http://www.utdallas.edu/~mel024000/images/Michelangelo.jpg

Higgins
04-07-2009, 05:16 PM
Art has some impact on the 'dogma' part of religion too; the embellishment of a religious myth can become the de facto standard for that myth, as we can see in Michelangelo's La Creazione. (Iconically, the ancient and patriarchal God has a full but not ginormous beard while Adam, who never owned a razor, doesn't. Despite the myth being Middle Eastern, God and Adam both look convincingly European.) http://www.utdallas.edu/~mel024000/images/Michelangelo.jpg


http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/73/God2-Sistine_Chapel.png (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/73/God2-Sistine_Chapel.png)

You left out Eve, who is still in some kind of Gnostic/Sophia incestuous communion with the Major Diety.

I was actually wondering about the theme of primordial incest as the type of myth that gets replaced in the modern world (the world since writing? The world since printing? The world since twitter?) by the myth of primordial ignorance/bliss/void/orgasmic_nothingness.

In the Adam and Eve story knowledge and transgression remove humanity from a situation of primordial (incestuous?) bliss. In Michelangelo's image, this is broken down a bit: Adam is made of clay, but Eve is more like pure information (Sophia-like in Gnostic Myth) in the mental world of the Divine. So there is no incest (unless information has an interesting relation with its Matrix ie in this case a God-Womb), instead there is the modern imagery of the primordial blissful void that information will fill.

Sean D. Schaffer
04-30-2009, 10:47 AM
Reflection changes people. Art helps change their perceptions; Science helps change their understanding of cause and consequence. Our shifting change in perceptions, causes and consequences can certainly change us spiritually -- by spirit here I mean 'who we think we are, how we want to relate to one another and how we want to achieve meaning in our lives'.

Art has some impact on the 'dogma' part of religion too; the embellishment of a religious myth can become the de facto standard for that myth, as we can see in Michelangelo's La Creazione. (Iconically, the ancient and patriarchal God has a full but not ginormous beard while Adam, who never owned a razor, doesn't. Despite the myth being Middle Eastern, God and Adam both look convincingly European.) So Art can change how we think spiritually regardless of religion, and also how we approach religious dogma. But so too can Science.
http://www.utdallas.edu/%7Emel024000/images/Michelangelo.jpg


I think it was Cecil B. DeMille who, in an interview with Billy Graham, gave an excellent reason for the above-mentioned embellishments. When Rev. Graham asked the producer why he never remade his silent movie The King Of Kings, Mr. DeMille responded (and this is paraphrased, sadly), that he was unable to present Jesus Christ in a talkie because of the limitations of both the technology and of the actor. His belief was that, if a person from one part of the country were watching the film and an actor from another part of the country were portraying Christ, the viewer would not be able to accept the actor as "Their Christ," as he put it. It was his opinion, if I understood what I read correctly, that because of people's nature, they would not accept someone whose actions and accents were unfamiliar to them as being personal to them....which according to some Christian denominations, is what Christ is supposed to be to each and every Christian individual.

The point I'm making is, would the people Michelangelo was painting for, have accepted either God or Adam as "Their" God and Adam, if he had painted them more accurately?

Ruv Draba
04-30-2009, 08:36 PM
The point I'm making is, would the people Michelangelo was painting for, have accepted either God or Adam as "Their" God and Adam, if he had painted them more accurately?I think it's actually simpler and more mundane than that -- whatever the myth means to people personally, would viewers have accepted Michelangelo's representation as readily if he hadn't appealed to their prejudices? And in supporting their prejudices rather than challenging them, did Michelangelo not strengthen and sustain cultural bias and delusion?

Art can either reinforce or challenge our prejudices, of course. In this regard it's got more latitude than science, which only progresses by making us aware of our ignorance and errors. :)

Higgins
04-30-2009, 09:30 PM
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/73/God2-Sistine_Chapel.png (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/73/God2-Sistine_Chapel.png)

You left out Eve, who is still in some kind of Gnostic/Sophia incestuous communion with the Major Diety.

I was actually wondering about the theme of primordial incest as the type of myth that gets replaced in the modern world (the world since writing? The world since printing? The world since twitter?) by the myth of primordial ignorance/bliss/void/orgasmic_nothingness.

In the Adam and Eve story knowledge and transgression remove humanity from a situation of primordial (incestuous?) bliss. In Michelangelo's image, this is broken down a bit: Adam is made of clay, but Eve is more like pure information (Sophia-like in Gnostic Myth) in the mental world of the Divine. So there is no incest (unless information has an interesting relation with its Matrix ie in this case a God-Womb), instead there is the modern imagery of the primordial blissful void that information will fill.


I think it was Cecil B. DeMille who, in an interview with Billy Graham, gave an excellent reason for the above-mentioned embellishments. When Rev. Graham asked the producer why he never remade his silent movie The King Of Kings, Mr. DeMille responded (and this is paraphrased, sadly), that he was unable to present Jesus Christ in a talkie because of the limitations of both the technology and of the actor. His belief was that, if a person from one part of the country were watching the film and an actor from another part of the country were portraying Christ, the viewer would not be able to accept the actor as "Their Christ," as he put it. It was his opinion, if I understood what I read correctly, that because of people's nature, they would not accept someone whose actions and accents were unfamiliar to them as being personal to them....which according to some Christian denominations, is what Christ is supposed to be to each and every Christian individual.

The point I'm making is, would the people Michelangelo was painting for, have accepted either God or Adam as "Their" God and Adam, if he had painted them more accurately?


I think it's actually simpler and more mundane than that -- whatever the myth means to people personally, would viewers have accepted Michelangelo's representation as readily if he hadn't appealed to their prejudices? And in supporting their prejudices rather than challenging them, did Michelangelo not strengthen and sustain cultural bias and delusion?

Art can either reinforce or challenge our prejudices, of course. In this regard it's got more latitude than science, which only progresses by making us aware of our ignorance and errors. :)

A related problem is that we end up seeing the actions and works of both art and science backward, ie we see the finished work or the conclusions. This makes it hard to see what is going on and this is generally more true of art where the art is in concealing the complexity that goes into a final work. For example, Michaelangelo was perfectly aware of the western tradition of idealized figures, forms or images, especially of people and gods and clearly a side-effect of this is that you can see the painting as representing western man's view of the creation of western man, but I don't think this was what Michaelangelo was trying to do. And (as I've suggested above) there is a lot more going on in the painting such as whatever it is that the as-yet-not-created Eve is doing in part of the creator's embrace.

Cyia
04-30-2009, 10:04 PM
The point I'm making is, would the people Michelangelo was painting for, have accepted either God or Adam as "Their" God and Adam, if he had painted them more accurately?


I remember in high school history when we got to the Renaissance having a lesson about a painter (and I can't remember his name) who painted scenes of Jesus as realistically as he could. He put dust on his skin and dirt on his feet, he showed the wear lines on the bottom of his garments where he would have walked through puddles or mud over time, etc.

His intent was to make a realistic representation of Jesus, the response was that he was basically declared a heretic for suggesting that dirt stuck to him.

So yes, I think Michelangelo was swayed by his audience and commissioners.

Ruv Draba
05-01-2009, 04:58 AM
A related problem is that we end up seeing the actions and works of both art and science backward, ie we see the finished work or the conclusions.Yes - I think that's called 'evidence'. :)

This makes it hard to see what is going on and this is generally more true of art where the art is in concealing the complexity that goes into a final work.Yes, and we can certainly overlook or dismiss the effort and thought that goes into the design process just because there's not a lot of record of that. However, the final product is a record of the final decisions made -- whether those decisions were made consciously or unconsciously.

The evaluation of art (or any other product) must be on that basis, and its long-term impact certainly is too. The question of what else Michelangelo might've considered is a legitimate matter of art history, and it may change how a few punters perceive the work, but I don't believe that it changes the work as a communication, any more than unpublished novel drafts change the final publication. (Unless you're James Joyce maybe, where you publish all your drafts too. :D)


clearly a side-effect of this is that you can see the painting as representing western man's view of the creation of western manThat would've been very post-modern of him. :) But if it were so, why isn't the observer drawn into the painting?


And (as I've suggested above) there is a lot more going on in the painting such as whatever it is that the as-yet-not-created Eve is doing in part of the creator's embrace.In Renaissance Italian society, women must be possessed -- by fathers, by husbands. You don't leave them running loose. And fathers are very fond of their daughters. Maybe that explains it?

Higgins
05-01-2009, 06:12 PM
I remember in high school history when we got to the Renaissance having a lesson about a painter (and I can't remember his name) who painted scenes of Jesus as realistically as he could. He put dust on his skin and dirt on his feet, he showed the wear lines on the bottom of his garments where he would have walked through puddles or mud over time, etc.

His intent was to make a realistic representation of Jesus, the response was that he was basically declared a heretic for suggesting that dirt stuck to him.

So yes, I think Michelangelo was swayed by his audience and commissioners.

For an artist from any period, Michelangelo was free to do what he wanted, indeed the whole Mannerist ideology of the artist's going to his inner vision owes a lot to the fact the Michelangelo was about as free to do what he wanted as a artist ever is.

As for the notorious case of Caravagio, who is probably the artist who supposedly upset everyone by ignoring his inner vision (unlike a mannerist) and putting on a show of "realistic" Christs and whatnot, he wasn't the first "bad-boy" artist whose swaggering was as much a part of the show as his art and he certainly wasn't the last.

See the Wikipedia on Caravagio:


http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/38/Judith_Beheading_Holofernes_by_Caravaggio.jpg/800px-Judith_Beheading_Holofernes_by_Caravaggio.jpg (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/38/Judith_Beheading_Holofernes_by_Caravaggio.jpg)