Lakheer

The artist in the first step is shown to be drawing a border, which resembles the northern part of India. The idea  that anyone can draw a order questions the fact that on what basis were these imaginary borders drawn. History and politics aside, if one dwells on the fact that the border was decided by a human being , it brings about the fact that the current actual border is just one of the possibilities of the many borders which instead could have been the reality.

In the next step the artist is shown cutting strips of paper which looked like fences . The fences bring about the idea of  a barricade , or a forbidden land where one is not allowed to , or shouldn’t enter. It can   also signify class difference , for example castles or rich mansions typically have higher and stronger fences than those smaller less financilally affluent households.Fences are the means to enforce the borders.

The third step the artist is seen cutting a map along the border of India. Another perspective of looking at this activity is the division and rift the partition created between India and pakistan . the process of cutting itself symbolises destruction or division.

Mahabharatha-Peter brook

Having read the story of Mahabharata before a lot of times, Peter brook’s version comes as a shock to the senses, maybe because I have had a fixed image of the characters and the environment   of the epic. The constant reinforcement of attributes of different characters for example Krishna, who has to have a peacock feather on his head, and has a darkish/ bluish skin tone and Arjun who is also of dark hue ,is completely broken down when one watches this version if the Mahabharata.

To be frank, the fact that a foreign cast is used for enacting characters who are thoroughly Indian, takes one by surprise . One takes time to get used to seeing great characters in the epic in the form of actors who dont have any Indian physical features. The cast comprises of all the races, caucasian, africans, mongoloids , but there are hardly any Indian actors, with a few exceptions.

The movie start with a boy moving amongst diyaas, and ends up meeting sage vyassa, who then asks for a  pen.The storytelling is constantly shifting between the present and the story of the epic. In one scene it was surprising to watch the chirpy  ganesha remove his mask  and go off to sleep.

This version though does expose one to one of the different adaptations of the epic .

Gaitonde

Gaitonde ‘Untitled’ 1969

I find there are various perspectives to the painting.

One can imagine the painting to be a representation of  one single surface , which has been divided in three parts placed together. In this narrative, since there is single surface, the black strokes behave like the folds and planes in different directions.Thus, starting from top and going downward, this surface becomes smoother, and even,  as compared to the top part .It gives a feeling  of a  metallic sheet, with stains, if one adds materiality to it.

Another narrative being looking at the painting as  space itself , like vacuum. one metaphor  which can be used to analyse this is the astronomical space. From this metaphor one can view the black dark areas as concentrated clouds of dust and star matter, just like in space.There is a lot of concentration of ‘stardust’ in the top parts, but as one gradually moves downside, the space becomes pure vacuum, devoid of any matter.

Visually, the top area attracts the eye first, since there is a lot of confusion and chaos, but gradually there is a sense of calmness.

Gaitonde ‘Untitled’ 1962

The smudged black strokes gives a sense of blurring of objects, which happens at high speeds. It seems as if there are objects travelling from left to right at high speeds which colliding onto static floating objects on the left. The smudged strokes create a sense of movement and chaos in the viewers mind, in contrast to the calm white space in the background.

Painting No.4

The more thicker saturated white background gives a feeling of being restricted while the dark tones in the central area behave like an opening to a wider space.

The dark tones in the center creates a sense of a large vacuum, in contrast to the restrictive white background.

Disregarding the visual aspects, if one decides to look at the painting in terms of physical objects, the white background seems like a tunnel, which leads towards the opening , which is a dark foggy area with burning charred wooden poles.Also the white space and the saturated yellowish space seems to be a result of the light reflecting onto it of a fire burning behind the viewer.

 

 

Space in artwork

AM Ai Weiwei bicycles Taiwan Absent TFAM 05

Forever Bicycles Ai Weiwei Toronto Canada

 

Chinese aritist Ai weiwei has exhibited his exhibition ‘Ai weiwei absent’ at various laces around the world, in Taipei, Toronto to name a few.  This impressive art installation in  Nathan Phillips, Toronto Square was formed by joining together 3,144 forever bicycles.Forever bicycles, a popular brand that has been mass-produced in China since the 1940s and gave many Chinese a sense of freedom and autonomy.Yong Jiu a major bicycle brand in China translates from Chinese to “forever” in English. Forever Bicycles is a spectacular looking piece of art, whose visual effects are staggering.This art piece symbolises society in a flux.

If one looks at the artwork from far, it seems as if spring shaped structures are moving towards the observer, in a constant axes, which are floating through space. Its only when  the observer moves closer , the observer notices the thin frames of the bicycles , holding the circular wheels together.

Space in between the structures here are of the utmost imporance, as its the symmetry in the placement of individual bicycles which gives it a grid like effect. The symmetry of the placement , that constant axis of placement of bicycles gives a feeling as if the bicycles have been extruded through an axis perpendicular to itself.

Another aspect of this artwork is the angle of  the observer. From the front , the artwork is very much distinctive and clear, but from an isometric view it loses its hollowness springy visulals, but doesnt lose its distinct geometrical spacing. Its like a 3 dimentional grid.

 

 

 

Performance art

Performance art is a genre of art where the artists showcase and put forward their ideas and intentions through a live performance. The performance art can be scripted or unscripted, can be random or have an algorithm or a pattern to follow,   it can involve audience as a part of the performance itself or the audience can be a silent observer.

Performance art flourished in the 1960s, right after the decline of modernism and abstract expressionism.

Often , artists reach a point when they may  feel restricted with traditional forms of art as they may be too static, often due to its 2d nature. But with performance art you include the third dimension (space ), and most importantly , also the fourth dimension ,ie time. Performance art can thus be generally characterized by 4 elements, space, time , the artist , the relationship with the audience.

A performance  thus, due to its dynamic nature, can put forward intentions and ideas in a much  stronger way, as performance arts have the ability to stir up strong emotions within the audience. A performance art can thus be called as an active or a dynamic form of art, unlike paintings or instillations which can be characterized as passive. One thing to  performance art is different from theatre, which is a carefully orchestrated , scripted play , where the audience is a silent observer.

 

 

Rhythm 10 (1973)

Artist: Marina Abramovic

Artwork description & Analysis: In Rhythm 10, Abramovic uses a series of 20 knives to quickly stab at the spaces between her outstretched fingers. Every time she pierces her skin, she selects another knife from those carefully laid out in front of her. Halfway through, she begins playing a recording of the first half of the hour-long performance, using the rhythmic beat of the knives striking the floor, and her hand, to repeat the same movements, cutting herself at the same time. This piece exemplifies Abramovic’s use of ritual in her work, and demonstrates what the artist describes as the synchronicity between the mistakes of the past and those of the present.

– Performed at a festival in Edinburgh

Merged space

Merging -Clash of clans game into real cities

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Genesis-How did the civilization came into being?

Every civilization needs resources to survive and thrive. This particular civilization requires elixirs for its citizens to thrive. The elixirs are the most abundant {for now} natural resource in this world, and run through the underground canals so that it can be accessed by its citizens. The source of these elixirs are fossilized bodies of its the previous generation of the citizens  itself. It’s a never ending cycle of bodies getting converted to elixir and back.Every scientist in this world knows about this  process , nut they still don’t know what causes these processes .

How does the civilization look like?

In the central part of the sub continent lies its  capital .It contains an elixir storage, which is heavily guarded , and metalworkers  and  engineers have installed high tech armors and have made them completely bullet proof, should intruders from enemy territories try and steal the eixir, as in this civilization, elixir is the power, to money and global dominance.. The citizens of every country  have constructed their cities around the elixir storage, which behaves like a dam for all their energy needs. The army thus is concentrated around the storage , and there are guards around the city borders to warn of incoming attack.

The future?

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Above:Weapons run by elixir

This cycle of bodies-elixir-bodies has given rise to something unprecedented, over time and civilizations, the citizens have evolved and have become increasingly efficient at surviving in minimum amount of elixir, due to which the leftover elixirs are now used as ammunition for their weapons. Also, the citizens have over time developed capacities to manipulate the land ,and its resources, which they are using to construct their cities. As civilizations grow over time , their manipulating power increases more and more , and that’s when it can lead catastrophic consequences . As the citizens need less and less elixir, and their efficiency increases , lesser number of citizens will die , due to which there will be lesser amount of fossilized bodies to get converted into elixir, which will inturn cause the shortage of elixir  and energy itself. This leave all their technology and lifestyle obsolete, as they depend on elixir for energy.The only way out of this catastrophy-WAR.

 

Chola bronze art

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The chola dynasty started predominating / prospering after the tenth century. Majority  of the surplous revenue was spent in building newer and bigger temples, along with devotional icons.

What I noticed in the statues of the chola period was the elegent ,slender bodies, made to depict certain postures, adorned with ornaments. The ornaments depicted are may be the representation of the ornaments worn during the reign of the cholas .But in the 14th century, Muslims invaded Tamil nadu    .Stone images were vandalised, but the bronze sculptures were stolen for their high metal value. Therefore they were buried to prevent from being stolen. Todays finest chola sculptures were recovered deep in the temple grounds , and in the surrounding countryside . Chola bronzes are unique images that cannot be replicated because of the lost wax (cire perdue) process used to create them requires that the mold be broken open to releases the statue.

The bronze statue shown here belongs to the group of Somaskanda. Somaskanda stands for “Shiva with Uma and Skanda,” the latter figure being their son and who stands between them. The  celestial family here  is seated on separate cushions ,over a wide waisted plinth. Its around 25¼ in. (64.1 cm.) wide.Here Shiva is holding an axe and antelope. He is wearing a short dhoti ,and his body is adorned with sacred thread. This may be out of context, but the earlobes in these statues remind me of similar earlobes in that of Chinese Buddha statues. The more I look at the statues, the more I feel that these statues kind of depict the bodies of todays perception of perfect male and female bodies,ie wide shoulders, thin waists,broad chests, and as mentioned earlier , slender limbs. But regarding the facial structure though,I cant help but relate it to the facial structure of Chinese Buddha statues,ie long nose,thin eyes.

Reerence:  http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/sculptures-statues-figures/an-important-bronze-group-of-somaskanda-south-5538713-details.aspx

ritual dance

Pulikkali_2010

PULIKALI OF KERELA

In Malayalam,Puli means tiger,and kali means play. The other name of Pulikali is kaduvakali, and it’s a  common folkart of kerela. Its performed by skilled artists to entertain people during the occasion of onam, which is the annual harvest  festival, celebrated in Kerela.On the fourth day of onam,the performers ,are painted like tigers in bright red ,yellow and black, and dance and move in a way resembling tigers, to the loud beats    of percussion instruments like udukku and thakali.

Pulikali is mainly performed in the Thrissur district of Kerala. Its origin is dated back to around 200 -300 years ago, during the reign of Maharaja Rama Varma Sakthan Thampuran, the then Maharaja of Cochin, who  is said to have introduced the folk art, who wanted to celebrate Onam with a dance that reflected the wild and macho spirit of the force. The dance has been evolving since then. In  the early days, masks were not used at all and participants would have themselves painted all over, on their faces as well. But now, ready made masks, cosmetic teeth, tongues, beards and mustaches are used by the participants along with the paint on their bodies. cenes such as the tiger preying on an animal, and a tiger being hunted by a game-hunter are enacted beautifully in between. Thousands of spectators line the streets enjoying the dance, cheering the dancers some of them even trying to join in. The groups assemble at Naduvilal in the Swaraj Round, Thrissur in front of the Vadakkunnathan Temple and offer a coconut each to the deity of the Ganapati shrine (Naduvilal Ganapati Kovil) here, before going on a procession around the ground. The procession also include floats from each village. The different troupes vie with each other to make the best floats as well as the best dressed tigers.

sound and film

Theory of the Film: Sound by Bela Balazs

Theater ,as an experience , has always been incomplete without sounds. Before the invention of cinematic cameras, which initially gave rise to silent films (which itself is a complete different genre as an art form),sound has been one of the most indispensable attributes of plays and theatre. Also , one will notice that even silent films are not completely silent. There are different kind of background music being played, to depict a range of emotions based on the situation. Some of the examples being Charlie chaplin’s The modern times,Great dictator etc.In fact , different plays have always been associated with their own distinctive dialogues. For example, Shakespearen plays have always been associated with over  exaggerated display of emotions through dialogues varying continuously between low pitch and high pitch, which one can see in excerpts of Shakespeare wallah (the film), where actors take up the roles of different characters of Shakespeare.

Though this essay by Bela Balazs is regarding the effect of sounds on films, one can relate to different kind of auditory features mentioned in the essay to his/her real life itself .In the essay the author talks about the acoustic world around us, and  the discovery of noise, which is characterised by  “  The sounds of our day to day Life-we hitherto  perceived merely as a confused noise, as a formless mass of din”. Now  that I think of it, there is always this buzzing never ending composition of sounds while im spending my day, even if im spending it peacefully at home. The sounds of the rustling of leaves from the  trees surrounding my home, sounds of birds (especially crows),sounds of vendors selling their wares on the street below,sound of the whistling of the cooker in the kitchen, the sounds of the water flowing from the tap, sounds of children playing outside, sound of the moving fan above me on the ceiling…….as one can notice this list is never ending. But the most important feature of this combination of sounds is that this sound isn’t really noticeable.This sound is just there,all day long, while we are going on with our lives and one  wont notice it unless he/she is really bored with his/her life. In films though, what I have notices is that directors often just put vey few acoustic sounds to give a sense of the surrounding.For example, if it’s a scene of a jungle at the night, some never ending acoustic sounds are the croaking of frogs, and hooting owls,and to add a sense of horror, they add howling of the wolves. Argo is one of the movies which comprises of scenes ranging between continuous background sound (best described as: a confused noise, as a formless mass of din ) and that of complete silence to depict fear. The scene in which the six americans had to venture out onto the market,with a chance of being caught featured cries of vendors in the background and the confused noise from the people in the crowded street.But a second later ,there is complete silence as they sit in the van (while being terrified inside heart of hearts) ,and pretend that they are a film crew.This scene is especially contrasing because there is a lot of confusion and movement outside of the van, but inside everyone is sitting still out of fear.

Then the author talks about the concept of silence, which  I found to be one of the most intriguing topics. The reason being, even to depict silence in  films ,one needs to use particular kind of sound. By silent the author doesn’t mean the complete absence of sound ,but the sounds which give the viewer/listener the essence of silence. Even in real life,if we are alone at our homes, it’s the essence of silence that makes us uncomfortable,and not the silence itself. The essence being : the amplified sounds of tick tok of the wall clock,or the sounds of movement of the ceiling fan blades.Its this focus you have on on these minimal sounds that make you feel that there is no sound around you, along with this ,in a complete silent room, coupled with the sund of the wall clock and the fan blade, it’s the sound of your own bloodflow which creates more tension within you. As the author said, ” The silence is greatest when we can hear very distant sounds in a very large space.”  One of the best examples regarding the concept of silence is the film cast away. The scene where Tom hanks is stuck on the island , all alone,and one can only hear the sound of the waves in the background, and only the sound of fire burning in the night out of firewood. This essence of silence is in complete contrast with respect to the start of the film,where there is a lot of noise,as tom hanks being a fed ex employee is always worrying about being on time. Towards the end of the film, after spending about four years alone on the island, a  sad instrumental is played, when he loses his only inanimate friend Wilson,which is actually a basketball, with whom he shared his feelings with.

Also,the author has talked about the concept of asynchronous  sound. He described it being,” In a closeup in which the surroundings are not visible, a sound that seeps into the shot sometimes impresses us as mysterious, simply because we cannot see its source. It produces the tension arising from curiosity and expectation” .I ,like everyone else, have had various experiences with asynchronous sound. Often,while walking down the street, if I hear a loud noise of an engine coming towards  me from behind, coupled with  loud honking , Im often terrified as I imagine  a huge truck crushing me into pieces as it runs over me from behind, and then unable to contain this curiosity regarding the source of this terrifying sound, I turn my head back, only to realise (and this has happened a lot of times) that the sound was coming from a bike without a silencer, having an ultra loud customised horn.  In the film Inception,the first scene starts with an example of asynchronous sound.Leo di caprio is shown lying almost unconscious,with the camera focusing only on his eyes, but one can still hear the sound of the waves in the background .Also ,the concept of silence is used extensively in the film: whenever leo  is rolls the top indicating whether he is in a dream state or not, only the sound of the top rolling is  given maximum importance, other scenes being depiction of leo and his wife being old,walking together in the world that they created, during which a mellow instrumental is played,to give a feeling of nostalgia.The best scene though when towards the end a Hanz Zimmer instrumental is played, which portrays a sense of accomplishment.

Sense of Sound: Id hai ki nahi?

The most common everyday experience on the way to indiabulls is the unavoidable  thorough checkup of you id.This experience seemed the most prominent and the important one,which every one goes through,hence it seemed right to me to focus on the id checking experience.As a matter of fact , my day at the indiabulls begins with words like,”ID hai mere paas”.

The beginning of the music is the normal way of checking the id,followed by the sound of the bags clinging the security scanner machine,then a slight loop by the woman security guard asking for your id.