Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Is It Art? Looking at “Ruin Porn” Through the Lens of Theological Aesthetics
by Belz, Elaine Elizabeth, Ph.D., Graduate Theological Union, 2020, 265; 27831382
Abstract (Summary)

The proliferation in recent years of photography of urban ruins has proven polarizing: on the one hand, urbex photographers claim the status of art for their work; on the other hand, critics and members of local communities consider such photographs to be voyeuristic and exploitative. Hence the term, “ruin porn.” This dissertation draws together insights from art history, philosophical aesthetics, and theological aesthetics to frame photographs of post-industrial ruins as artistic expressions of the sensory experience of dereliction in the built environment. Using a theological construct of “significant human experience,” this dissertation demonstrates that photographs of modern ruins which communicate such should not be dismissed as “ruin porn,” but merit serious consideration as works of art.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Nakasone, Ronald Y.
Commitee: Renz, Christopher, Herron, Jerry
School: Graduate Theological Union
Department: Art and Religion
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 81/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Aesthetics, Theology, Art history
Keywords: Decay, Detroit, Photography, Ruin, Ruin porn, Theological aesthetics
Publication Number: 27831382
ISBN: 9798645469931
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