ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Art as a Religion

Updated on April 11, 2016

In the era of hyper-sensitive special snowflakes and first world slacktivists, it's become far to easy to confuse good old fashioned skepticism with cynicism. Skepticism is a fundamental element of the scientific method. Refutation of skepticism on it's face is a fundamental element of religious dogma. How it has come to be that Art, with a capital 'A', escapes a healthy level of skepticism is a poisonous mixture of genuine art-believers, unscrupulous speculators, the idle insanely rich, and the rich insanely idle. Just as religions mature through different phases, from creative inception, to volatile periods of establishing differences/boundaries, to calmer periods in which the major factions have firmly established territories and then pivot to act primarily in a political fashion, Art as a religion has matured to this final phase. Unfortunately, political maintenance is inextricably tethered to finances so as religions and larger cults have become industries, so too has Art.

Art as a religion, as opposed to a science, is problematic. Science, rooted in the Latin word meaning “to know,” is about the forwarding of human knowledge. In that regard, Art certainly has always been science-like. In the past, Art was also required to disseminate information or a story reliably, and criticism of Art could be grounded in primarily objective observation. Together, the effort to forward knowledge and the evidence in the work to support that that concept was indeed present, resulted in a vast body of works that provide genuine value to humanity. However, the evidence aspect of Art as a science has recently been greatly diminished. In it's place we have “feel,” “looks like,” “activates the space,” and any number of other droll expressions distinctly designed to fill the air with nothingness masquerading as somethingness. Much of what people have to say about Art after the abstract expressionist is faith based. They observe something in a subjective way, and then commit the ultimate disservice to the work, the artist, and the audience, by sharing their experience. As social creatures, we're hard-wired to want to agree. Some agree so vigorously as become members of the faith themselves, and then a cult or religion has formed.

Art critics can better serve all involved by proscribing opinions and subjective observations, by remarking primarily on formal qualities, and providing evidenced conjecture as to potential meanings. Works that evade criticism of concept by being excessively opaque ought to be viewed in turn with skepticism. Those works not meant to be gotten are likely décor or senseless utterances. That both of those types are featured prominently in galleries across the world is an indication of incompetent criticism which itself exists only because of public disinterest. When the public is heavily invested in some aspect of humanity, we invariably find that that aspect undergoes relatively rapid development. Art, like religion, has lost it's relevance to society at large because instead of bending towards science, it has bent towards religion and faith-based reverence. The best way to course-correct is through some hard skepticism wherein we require the artist to validate the work and not make such credit automatic just because it's in a gallery or museum.

Source

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Oztinato profile image

      Andrew Petrou 

      2 years ago from Brisbane

      The whole history of art is firmly rooted in religion all the way from cavemen up. I discuss this in my hub https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Atheism-a...

      Even today the interaction with art and psychology, politics etc makes it a type of religious phenomena. This is quite interesting when we consider that many artists are now atheists! In other words religion is not the stereotype of fundamentalist Christian so often perpetrated on HP but religion in fact encompasses many fields of human culture.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)