Patriarch Kirill I, the leader of Russia’s Eastern Orthodox Church, has a very particular taste in art. He considers contemporary art a sign of the Apocalypse — just like gay marriage and that Pussy Riot “doing the work of Satan!”
At an Orthodox festival on Wednesday, Kirill ranted at length about his specialized notions of aesthetics. The Moscow Times reports:
According to the patriarch, art should be a thing of beauty and harmony, as opposed to “filth and stupidity under the guise of art.”
“The purpose of [such] art is not to advance humankind … but to destroy the [it],” he was quoted as saying.
Proponents of modern and experimental art would have us believe that anyone who fails to understand the genre is simply “unenlightened,” the patriarch said.
It is nearly impossible to make any relevant art in Russia anyway. It falls victim to now routine accusations of “blasphemy,” while any current political critique is “extremist.” Unfortunately, people do listen to this guy.
Kirill doesn’t like experimental music either.
To illustrate his point, he described attending a symphony in Chicago. What began as a “wonderful concert” quickly devolved into a cacophony of sound after an announcer told the crowd that the symphony would play some “experimental music.”
As the patriarch described it: “Everyone sat. Their faces tense, their eyebrows pursed with the desire to understand what was happening … But no one wants to be the one to say ‘the emperor has no clothes.’ Everyone was too afraid.”
Oh, good. Now, you don’t “understand” when art and music tries something different, you don’t have to try anything new! Because Kirill doesn’t like it, so it’s blasphemous and it’s destroying humanity. You’re still cool.
Everything blunt, homespun, and orthodox is in. Everything multifaceted, foreign, avant-garde, or deviant is out.