STAYING AWAKE FOR GOD ― INTRODUCING THE GOAN JAGAR
DR. Alexander Henn
Every year, Hindus and Catholics in Goa honour their gods, saints and ancestors in this colourful night-long ritual called Jagar. Like the genealogies of its performers, this ritual has gone through conversion and shuddhi, has become Catholic and Hindu and has reached its post-colonial syncretistic presence today. Its songs string together stories of the divine and the mundane, mythology and every day, drama and laughter. Above all, they present the voices of Goans for whom staying awake for their gods and saints is a way of praying and feasting, trusting and staying healthy, and expressing their culture, art and self.
VISUAL PERCEPTION AS A VISUAL LANGUAGE
Visual perception is a function of our eyes and brain. We see images as a whole rather than in parts. However, images can be broken down into visual elements: line, shape, texture and colour. These elements are to images as grammar is to language. Together they allow eyes to see images and our brain to recognize them. ‘All the arts are based on the senses. What they do for the person who practices them, and also the persons interested in them, is make that particular sense more active and more acute.’ ―Henry Moore. Artists have been looking at the world for thousands of years, and thus paintings and drawings can be considered to form a 40,000 year-old corpus of experimentation. Psychology of perception: Through observation and trial-and-error they have exploited the principles of how our brains interpret the input from the retina, giving priority to only certain regularities of the visual pattern. Thus, a study of pictorial cues can tell us about the way that the brain recognizes objects, understands spatial depth, and uses illumination information in natural environments. Conversely, a better understanding of visual perception may help to explain the effectiveness of certain techniques used by artists. This study will illustrate how artists have used visual perception in art history.
BACK OF THE BIG HOUSE
DR. Savia Viegas
The earliest photographs and establishments from Goa date back to 1880, a mere 40 years after the invention and publicising of photography as a form of representation and a minor art. In Goa, travelling photographers visited houses to make family and individual portraits in the early years. The first photographic establishments sprang up in Panjim or Nova Goa and were followed by their counterparts in Mapusa and Margao. While Lord and Lady Curzon were being photographed in the background of dead game of felled Bengal tigers, and the newly invented Kodak handheld camera was foregrounding families and domestic spaces in a manner not conceived before, the Goan family was exploring the medium to represent itself. Europeanized in faith, dress, etiquette and world view these families faced the cameras with a gaze that had imbibed the notional authorities of their colonial masters. These photographs depicted to public gaze not only the western stance of the family but more important from the point of view of this paper brought to the public gaze the ‘othered’ category of minions on which loyalty and toil the power and authority of the family rested. This paper will discuss twelve of these photographs from different family archives to make such depictions a field of critical study.
MISPLACEMENT OF VIRTUE
Charudatta Ram Prabhudesai
India, as one of the crucibles of world culture, the creatrix of perhaps the loftiest human thought, is once again poised to lead the world. Leadership is most manifest through humanities and culture of any nation. At such a crucial time as the present, when the West is failing in its attempt to provide a satisfying alternative, India must once again assume her destiny and lead. Rather than follow a failing and experimental culture, she must look within the core of her foundations for native strengths and take up the lead to chart out new paths for the continuance of civilization. The polemic “MISPLACEMENT OF VIRTUE” explores this theme with concealed reference to the unquestioning shadowing of the West. It appeals to all art fraternity to refrain from its purblind habit of following unquestioningly the post-modern Western trends in the Arts which, by its own admission, the West is coming to suspect. It is a plea to recast the misplaced virtue into its truer natural order by preferring to persuade through insinuation rather than urge, hint rather than declare, a classic trajectory for the future of the visual and the plastic arts. This paper presents the belief in the proper study from a practicing mid-generation artist of our times.