The Sacred and the Profane

Emile Durkheim argued that the function of religion was to separate the sacred from the profane. For the sociologist, the profane is synonymous with the mundane, base, day-to-day concerns of the individual. Sacred are those things valued (good or evil) by a community as a whole and subsequently elevated or separated out as totem or taboo.

Tony Toscani and Olga Sophie Kauppinen, shown together, blur this dichotomy. Tony’s body of work provides an intimate look at death, grief, and spirituality, but also manages to find the poetry in scenes from daily life. Sophie directs our gaze toward the base experiences of the mundane – lust, anger, paranoia – but provides this view in such a way as to suggest a connection or communion with the subject, thus creating the spiritual from the profane.