Wednesday, 20 February 2013


A month in India has turned me upside down. Of course. That's partly why I went, to be turned upside down. So many impressions and images, experiences. Feelings. Who writes about artistic practice as sensation? There's talk of technique, of interpretation, or intention. But creativity is also a response to the experience of life as it passes through the consciousness (using this in the Indian sense here, to mean all of perception, not just the mind....) of the artist. What do I mean by separating this out from the morass as an idea? I don't know.

'Feeling' has been eradicated from the conceptual worlds of 'Western' contemporary art. In the traditional arts of India (where theatre, dance, painting were seen as one), art was aimed at the creation of navarasa, the nine emotions. Thinking about that, though, my understanding is that the artist was attempting to create a particular emotional response in the viewer. What, then, of the state of the artist, as they tried to provoke an emotional response in their audience? The only thing I know about this is texts that discuss the painter or sculptor moving into a meditative state before beginning to create, which seems loosely linked to another frequently occurring idea, which is art as an offering to god.  A different scene entirely....


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