Art / Inspiration / People

Art as new religion (Talks at the Tate)

Talks at the Tate Modern, London UK

Can culture replace scripture?

My all time favorite Author Alain de Botton talks about how art and culture is laid out to be our new religion and “the therapeutic nature of art”. He pulls in philosophy and great artists and points out how they have managed to sharpen our senses to our everyday lives.

Just to point out one of my favorite parts of this talk was his idea of developing a new concept for curators to arrange exhibitions and art museums. For him organizing works by the time that they were created (18th century European paintings, 17th century Italian sculptures and so on…) is the absolute wrong approach as he compares it to structuring the books on your shelf by the year they were published. I love the idea of reorganizing museums by meaning, influence or even psychological measures and how they make you feel. Why not create rooms of madness, sadness, joy, desperation or happiness?

He also accuses “those who are in charge of culture” only paying lip service to the idea of culture replacing religion, “be it the University of Oxford, the Tate or the Tate modern they don’t take this idea serious at all. And you can get a sense why so. If you just imagine what would happen if you showed up at the Tate and you would say: I’ve come here to find constellation and meaning, I’ve come here because I’m desperate and sad and lonely. I’m here because I can’t cope and I’m looking for help.” They would not be calling the police they would call the insane asylum.”

De Botton is as witty as ever and I could listen to this for ages. PLEASE sit down after another long day of deadlines, stress and meetings. Treat yourself to a cup of tea and listen- Take the time, it’ll be worth it.


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