Religion Is Kitsch (Video)

Mikael Askergren © 2011

Mikael Askergren: Contemplating the problem of not personally holding any religious beliefs while at the same time recognizing the historic importance of music and architecture and art which is labeled religious, I finally arrived at the conclusion that labeling magnificent examples of art as religious is always a misnomer, because even though the experience of great art throughout western history almost always is connected to religious life in a very practical, direct sense, the religious experience and the experience of great art is never the same experience. Religion is never art. Religion in and by itself is always kitsch.

This video was recorded by Mikael Askergren with an iPhone 4 during the Pope’s public audience at the large Aula Paolo VI assembly hall in the Vatican, September 15, 2010. The video was edited and screened for the general public for the first time during a seminar about religion and art arranged by Supermarket Art Fair at Kulturhuset (The House of Culture) in Stockholm, Sweden, February 18, 2011.


The very kitsch bronze sculpture Resurrezione (Resurrection) inside the Aula Paolo VI assembly hall (the bronze monstrosity behind the pope’s chair in the image above) was created by Pericle Fazzini and inaugurated in 1977.


The Aula Paolo VI assembly hall with its very kitsch stained glass windows was designed by Pier Luigi Nervi and completed in 1971.

More by Mikael Askergren about religion in general, and in particular about the unholy alliance (so to speak) between organized religion and the fine arts:
Det finns ingen religiös arkitektur
Det finns ingen religiös konst
Why Religion Facilitates Crime and Immorality
More video by Mikael Askergren:
36 Views of the Nuclear Power Plant at Barsebäck (Video)

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