The news story named “Friends or foes? Art’s long, complicated relationship with religion” covers the accurate topic of the constant controversy between religion and art. This theme has been discussed for a significant period when the daring artworks related to religious interpretation caused a wide range of comments and discussions among the public. The article represents several examples of modern art installations which provoked active public and political criticisms and resentment, especially from the religious leaders and their followers.
In addition, the author of the article also states that this kind of conflict between religion and art results only in the increased attention towards the particular piece of art and generates financial profit for museums and artists (Rosen, 2017). However, these debates distract public attention from the basic idea of art and religion and eliminate indeterminacy, which was always identified as the main attribute of good art.
Religion used to outline the main direction of art development in the past centuries, influencing artwork’s ideas and appearance. According to Fredriksson (2016), religious symbolism existed in traditional art but based on the modern approach, artists, in some ways, are “playing” with this topic or even add an alternative meaning to their works. However, in the case described in the article, the conflict may arise due to the misunderstanding of the idea included in the particular piece of art.
For instance, artists aim to create indeterminacy within their works, which means that the initial idea can only be interpreted by a person who made it. As it was previously mentioned, the artists, as well as the museums, often receive benefits from the active discussions around the work. Simultaneously, religious supporters evaluate the art very subjectively and may wrongly interpret it as hostility or misunderstand the meaning. As a result, individual artworks get lost in the conflicts and become a reason for the controversy by losing their significance in both art and religious aspects.
Fredriksson, M. (2016). Art and religion in contemporary society. Approaching Religion, 6(2), 186-188. Web.
Rosen, A. (2017). Friends or foes? Art’s long, complicated relationship with religion. CNN. Web.