Ritual Protostructure of a Work of Art

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Professor
Affiliation: Department of Philosophy and Sociology by Institute of History, International Relations and Social and Political Sciences. Lugansk State Pedagogical University
Address: Ukraine, Lugansk
Journal nameChelovek
EditionVolume 32 Issue №1

The article considers the ritual protostructure of a work of art as a text that awakens the process of spiritual initiation (“second birth”) in the recipient’s mind. This is the “inner border” of art, where it shows its derivation from the structure of religious ritual as a symbolic act of overcoming death. Artistry arises where and when our consciousness passes through a point of chaos, through a “break” of being, and then with a new effort again gathers the world into space, fixing this new vision, which has overcome the disintegration, in the strictness of an expressive form. The experience of the “inner”, existential passage through symbolic death can be considered as an analogue of the archaic ritual in the inner world of man. Thanks to this, art in any era effectively fulfilled the existential task of overcoming personal crises. In this aspect, the ultimate ontological categories of human experience — Life, Death, Sacrifice, and Resurrection — fix the basic ontology of a work of art. The general cultural ontology, defined by the dialectic of Space and Chaos, also underlies the structure of artistic reality — this makes it possible to recreate micro- and macrocosms by artistic means. Thanks to this, art in any era effectively fulfilled the existential task of overcoming personal crises. The use of such models for understanding the analysis of the structures of the artwork allows to reconstruct the “inner border” of art — play in this ritual experience of the unity of man with a cosmic mystery of life. The examples of two poems show the “mechanisms” of the ritual meanings of the work of art. Understanding the ritual protostructure of a work can be a valuable basis for using art as a tool for personal development, as a special type of art practice aimed at expanding the existential space of a person. Such art practice is possible only with the ritual understanding of the work as a kind of “existential accelerator”, in which the purely aesthetic, emotional, historical and other aspects of the content of the work go into the context, into the background.

Keywordsartwork, structure, initiation, meaning, ritual
Publication date19.03.2021
Number of characters38702
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