SEEING AND BELIEVING: FOLK INGENUITY AND BELIEFS ABOUT NATURE
Dr. Bernadette Gomes
Much has been said and written about art and religion as human expressions. Anthropologists have long theorized about the roots of religion stemming from man’s insecurity with nature. For Early Man, Nature was a life giving and life destroying force, a mysterious and powerful self-contradictory entity. As Man attributed divine and human qualities to nature, there came a major shift from instinctive to intellectual practices. The new terms of engagement with nature became “appeasement”. This could be the earliest beginnings of creative thinking – a preoccupation with ways of appeasing, and ways of perpetuating ideas of divinity and appeasement. In her paper, Dr. Gomes explores the ingenuity with which the tribes of Goa have created dramatic images and performances in their folklore, in an attempt to gain symbolic mastery over nature, simultaneously etching a body of beliefs and practices in the collective mind.
A RASIKA’S TALE…
Dr. Alka Pande
This paper will attempt to investigate the cultural context of the changing representation of Indian art, from pre-modern to modern and the contemporary. From Bharat’s Saundarya Shastra to Baumarten’s Aesthetica. From the spiritual to the visual, how Indian art practices have undergone changes and transformations from the Dancing Girl of Mohenjo Daro to the Kitchen of Subodh Gupta. Is the contemporary Indian artist looking for endorsement from the West? Or is the Indian artist coming of age in a global cosmopolitan world? Where does the legacy of art and craft find its space? As a subaltern voice or that of a contemporary artistic practice? This is a complex study of the authorship of art and the artist. From the sacred to the profane, from the spiritual to the visual, how traditional art practices have been transformed, translated, transmuted, morphed, digitized, from a fine art practice to the art of not making.
THE BLURRING LINE
Since antiquity, art has played a vital role in fashion. This process continues to the present day with designers sourcing inspiration from Egyptian Art, Greek Statues, Mesopotamian motifs and Indian sculpture. In the 20th century renowned designers turned to artists to create fashion for the public. Chanel socialised with the Cubists and gave the world the first crystal cube as a perfume (Chanel no5) at a time when perfume containers were delicate Murano glass in feminine shapes. Elsa Schiaparelli used her association with Dali to create Surrealistic details on her clothes. Most famously in the 1960′s, Yves Saint Laurent revived the art of 30′s minimalist Piet Mondrian. So close was he to art that he drew inspiration from Matisse and Van Gogh. On the Indian scene, fashion designers have done the same. From temple art to frescoes, modern painters to Shantiniketan lines, Indian fashion flirts with and continues its fascination with Art.
FROM THE OUTSIDE IN, AND VICE VERSA
Prof. Alito Siqueira & José Lourenço
Travellers to Goa in the Early Modern era, like Linschoten, Pyrard de Laval, Tavernier and Hamilton, chronicled their times in Goa through their writings. Watercolour paintings, engravings and numerous maps were produced by European artists and cartographers. Vice versa, the firang did not escape the local attention or caricature. In a dramatic representation of where the medium of power lies, the locals enriched their song, dance and other forms of folklore as the firangi made their appearance. This is the mirror that reflected the views of the opposing peoples in this fecund land that each claimed as their own, in their woven histories in a sub-continent much coveted. This paper is a study of the complex colonizer/colonized relation expressed in and through art.