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The Sacred and Profane Dichotomy in the Art of Warhol and Serrano

Ollila Gison, AnnaLiisa (2013) The Sacred and Profane Dichotomy in the Art of Warhol and Serrano. [MRP]

Item Type: MRP
Creators: Ollila Gison, AnnaLiisa

Contemporary art has acquired the reputation as a space where “anything goes” and where diverse cultural topics are brought into conversation: politics, sexuality, philosophy, science and technology are all open to exploration within art. The “F-word," however, still remains off-limits for discussion within the contemporary art world and, even more so, the “C-word." These words, of course, refer to faith and Christianity. This paper seeks to determine why this rift exists between religion and art through Émile Durkheim’s dichotomy of the sacred and profane. I begin by tracing Christian tradition in art up to the late eighties, where I focus on the sacred and profane dichotomies in the works of Andy Warhol and Andres Serrano. I argue that the removal of theological perspective from art criticism has resulted in both under interpretation and misinterpretation of works, drawing on Serrano’s Piss Christ and Warhol’s Last Supper series as examples. By relying on authors such as Thomas Crow and Erich Auerbach, I argue that spheres of the sacred and profane, secular and religious and art and theology are not inherently oppositional but, instead, interdependent.

Date: 6 September 2013
Divisions: Graduate Studies > Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Art Histories
Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2023 15:31
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2023 15:31
URI: https://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/4174

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