Arts of WonderEnchanting Secularity - Walter De Maria, Diller + Scofidio, James Turrell, Andy Goldsworthy

Arts of WonderEnchanting Secularity - Walter De Maria, Diller + Scofidio, James Turrell, Andy Goldsworthy

Jeffrey L. Kosky

Print publication date: 2013

ISBN: 9780226451060

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Abstract

The fate of our times is characterized by rationalization and intellectualization and, above all, by “the disenchantment of the world.” Max Weber’s statement remains a dominant interpretation of the modern condition: the increasing capabilities of knowledge and science have banished mysteries, leaving a world that can be mastered technically and intellectually. And though this idea seems empowering, many people have faced modern disenchantment. Using intimate encounters with works of art to explore disenchantment and the possibilities of re-enchantment, this book addresses questions about the nature of humanity, the world, and God in the wake of Weber’s diagnosis of modernity. It focuses on a handful of artists—Walter De Maria, Diller and Scofidio, James Turrell, and Andy Goldworthy—to show how they introduce spaces hospitable to mystery and wonder, redemption and revelation, and transcendence and creation. What might be thought of as religious longings, the book argues, are crucial aspects of enchanting secularity when developed through encounters with these works of art. Developing a model of religion that might be significant to secular culture, it shows how this model can be employed to deepen interpretation of the art we usually view as representing secular modernity.