Ritual

Today I have been thinking about ritual and how in religion ritual is a means of both internalising belief and making it real and individual.

What is the structure of a given ritual? What is it’s function? What ambiguities do they have and how may they contradict?

Gregory Bateson (1958) argues that changes in rituals often serve as a means of averting real change. Questions have been made about the multivalence of meaning in ritual contexts (Derrida, 1978), the ways in which ritual form resist interpretation ( de Man 1979) , and the ways in which patterns are inherent to the viewer and bring forth particular forms of reaction ( Jameson 1981).

Another important issue is the way in which power is constructed  and manipulated through ritual. In Christianity we are asked to believe in the virginity of Jesus’ mother, but also in his divine birth, sacrosanct death, and eventual resurrection.

When something is a ritual it is often an ordinary object or action but our awareness of it is heightened through the ritual. Sometimes they heighten the differences between the “ordinary” and the “strange”.

” The rituals of religion, like the rituals of etiquette- whether speaking to houses or standing for strangers- require at once a certain faith and an acknowledgement that things are important are not always rational or understandable.”

Critical Terms For Art History “Ritual”

The production of art can in some senses be a ritual to the artist. One which is not always understood.

I have contacted the vicar at St Nicholas Church and he is going to get back to me regarding the showing of my work.

I have been painting from photographs of water and know that I would like to capture fluidity and flow. Time seems to be going quickly and my ideas are still not concrete. I hope to find out at the beginning of the week whether I can show work at St Nicholas’ then I will feel more able to develop my ideas.

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