Extreme navel-gazing alert!
Occasionally I go "out-of-niche" and try to make my blog world bigger. Art blogging is a surprisingly small niche, and it gives me pause to wonder if it is indicative of how art fits in contemporary society. I found an interesting (if egg-headed) discussion on a theology of art going on, and decided to engage in it. I am planning an exhibition at Northwest University, my alma mater, and have been pondering about the nexus between art and spirituality.
Ben Myer's blog, Faith & Theology blogspot, published his provisional, Ten Theological Theses on Art, Sunday, December 14th., 2008.
Here, from my Christian perspective, are my Ten Theses on Art:
- Art (etymology=artifice,artificial) is a visual, organic parable. Emotional and conceptual aspects of art are of the soul. Auto-didactic art remains a function of nature.
- Sacred art is a category of art that involves subject. If art were, or could be, "Sacred," the Lord Jesus would have drawn the gospel.
- At some point, content must always supersede subject in art. Content is the construct and concept of the artist.
- Nature is corrupt, but art may rise above nature inasmuch as it may be created in an environment of redemption.
- Making art is a creative act. Individuality is intrinsic to the making of art.
- The need of art is an act of faith, rather than a scientific quantity.
- Truth in art is no more self-evident or intrinsic than any other act in nature. We assert that truth is resident in Jesus Christ.
- Beauty in the classic sense is resident in nature, and therefore must be interpreted.
- Art has a long life - longer than human mortality. With perhaps the exception of performance art and conceptual art, Fine Art is a corporeal object of exceptional longevity.
- We reject the theology that God must not be represented in art. God is personal, and art is one of the many (perhaps imperfect) means of relating to Him.
Of the responses written to Ben's, my favorite, so far, is Erin's Six Theses. I took great umbrage with poserprophet, whose angst over Auschwitz has made him completely forget the redemptive acts.