A brief history of religion in art – TED-Ed

Found this video while doing research for my paper, thought it might help when teaching Wolterstorff in the future, it is discussing his point about how the progression of art through history changed how we interact with religious art and its function in modern society.



“Conversions” by Vito Acconci

“Conversions” by Vito Acconci“Conversions” by Vito Acconci is a video which he performs a series of acts which emasculate him. He creates breasts for himself by pulling on his nipples, burns off his body hair, and hides his male genitalia in between his legs (Jay, pg.60). This video has a lot to do with the political statements Higgins talks about in her article. In today’s world, the transgender community is rapidly growing and becoming more and more acceptable. This video however,  came out in 1970, when being transgender was not as accepted as it is today and is defiantly an example of how beauty in political movements/issues can open people’s eyes to new dimensions of sexuality and open the door for discussion and revolution.



Martin Jay, “Somaesthetics and Democracy: Dewey and Contemporary Body Art”

Kathleen Marie Higgins, “Whatever Happened to Beauty? A response to Danto



Final Paper Proposal

For my final paper I would like to talk about Wolterstorff’s thesis about the religious aspect of art. I want to discuss different works of art that could be considered both religious and secular and how art played a religious role in ancient Greece.

Rothko-“Blue and Grey”, 1962


Mark Rothko created “Blue and Grey” in 1962 as part of a collection of works referred to as “color field paintings”. His intention in creating these pieces was to evoke metaphysical emotion which he referred to as “the sublime”. Rothko did not consider himself an “abstractionist” or a “colorist”, despite the formal and color-based elements of the paintings. Insisted he suggested that his painting were meant to depict human emotions such as “tragedy, ecstasy, doom”, and create the closest relationship between the idea and the observer.  Early in his career, Rothko was influenced by expressionism and surrealism before arriving at this style which he would continue to create through out his career. Rothko was greatly influenced by philosophy, particularly Nietzsche, and believed in artistic freedom of expression.

According to Pippin, Rothko’s paintings would “matter” to Hegel. Since Hegel’s aesthetic theory is historical, he would probably say that Rothko’s paintings capture and represent the time in which they were made. Despite being non-representational,  Rothko’s paintings were highly conceptual, which is a huge criteria for Hegel (pgs.22-23).




Jean-Georges Noverre’s “Ballet d’action” (Carroll pg.586)

Gaëtan_Vestris_dans_Jason_et_Médée“Ballet d’action” was created in 18th century France and was performed as a narrative which included costume and scenery to further a plot line and embody the emotions and motivations of the dancers, or “characters”.

Carroll uses “Ballet d’action” as an example of “the imitation theory” of dance. Noverre sought to showcase dance through dramatic story telling, and saw dance as fine art only if it was mimetic, which followed the Aristotelian thought that theatrical performances must be linked with the imitation of action. Although both Aristotle and Noverre considered dance to be a subspecies of theater, Noverre wanted to create a distinction between theatrical pieces that included dance and those that didn’t by excluding the use of words in his pieces, and instead expressing the same message through bodily movement instead of verbally. “Ballet d’action” was a huge influence at the time of its conception and became the dominant form of dance in the 19th century.

Could not add the youtube link because it says it does not accept the format but here it is…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_9KA-BAgHU

Reference: http://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/oi/authority.20110803095443457