Risk is involved because the “safety” of the frame or plinth is withheld and the viewer is placed in a more immediate and individualized relation with the artist and artwork, and has to be receptive to their supra-intellectual demands. The situation was very different for artists before modernism, as they were bound by the particularities of iconography and the proposed setting, and were sometimes obliged to work in the service of the Church. The video artist Bill Viola frequently uses everyday people, including himself, in his installations and performances, and takes the viewer to an experience beyond the mundane, which conveys the power that art has of transporting the viewer to extraordinary states. Turning the charges of offense around, Serrano can be seen to be literalizing the Eucharist and adding urine to the list of bodily substances that that the Eucharist symbolizes. The display also includes numerous ecclesiastical or religious commissions, including works from Lucio Fontana’s ‘white’ Via Crucis series, with their glazed terracotta smeared towards an abstract violence. His quest was motivated by his identity; as a German born shortly before the end of World War II in 1945, he inherited a particular historical legacy to which he felt called to respond. These musings take on a personal form, which means that there are potentially as many interpretations of spirituality as there are viewers, which is unproblematic and demonstrates the malleability of spirituality. The lack of religious meaning does not preclude a spiritual reading of Bacon’s work, though; his work is deeply spiritual as it is about themes that are central to human life, including embodiment, isolation, and mortality. Although resident and established as an artist in the United States, she is still operating in a postexilic state and seeks a homeland, poignantly symbolized by the tooba, a sacred tree mentioned in the Qur’an, which offers comfort to those in need and is featured in her 2002 two-screen video installation of the same name. Dan Fox, “Believe It or Not: Religion versus Spirituality in Contemporary Art,” in Frieze. Aside from his chief preoccupation with German history and culture, Kiefer also had a broader interest in ancient belief systems and religious mythology, which he explored repeatedly, and symbolically. His vision also anticipates post-Christian and post-secular attitudes to God and religiosity, and gives a foretaste of the spiritual tenor of contemporary art. Christ’s Entry into Jerusalem (c. 1923–26), Giovanni Costetti Courtesy Palazzo Strozzi, Florence. “The sublime” referred to any overwhelming or awe-inducing experience, such as the encounter with nature. In the present day, artists are at liberty to combine genres, materials, and forms and to represent a range of global subjects, some of which refer directly to societal issues, whereas others are more universal and timeless. “The contemporary” can be used to refer to the current, the present, the here-and-now. In philosophical thinking, the idea that God was an a priori foundation for our belief system was also replaced by an increase in scientific knowledge that placed the onus on inquiry rather than revelation as the ground for thinking. Art fulfills a critical role for both women, as a means of processing feelings of disenfranchisement and dislocation and as providing powerful images of cultural identity and transformation. San Francisco: Harper, 2001. Experiences of the spiritual were sought outside of the traditional themes of Christian narratives and imagery, and were often in veiled or coded language. 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